Teacher sent sexually-motivated messages to former pupils then asked them to delete: 'Maybe a good idea to get rid of our chat'

Tom Embury-Dennis
Ian Stuart allegedly sent messages to pupils at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds: Google Maps

A teacher who sent "sexually motivated" messages to teenage girls who were his former pupils, before suggesting they be deleted, has been banned from the profession.

Ian Stuart told the girls they were beautiful, appeared older than their age and could do better than their boyfriend.

He also said he would love to have them one on one and asked them "how far they have gone with a guy". Them being drunk intrigued him, he said.

The 36-year-old later asked for his messages to be deleted.

A professional conduct panel was shown screenshots reading "maybe a good idea to get rid of our chat" and "probably best to get rid of this one too".

Mr Stuart was working at Broadlands Hall School in Haverhill, Suffolk, when he allegedly sent the messages to pupils at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds where he previously worked.

It was alleged Mr Stuart sent inappropriate messages to one or more pupils in or around May 2017 and that one of the pupils was under the age of 16.

He had worked at King Edward VI School from 2013 to 2017.

Mr Stuart admitted the facts at a National College for Teaching and Leadership hearing in Coventry and that they amounted to unacceptable professional conduct, and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.

He said his actions were "a poorly judged moment of madness".

The panel found proven that his conduct was sexually-motivated and that it was dishonest in that he was attempting to conceal the fact he had been messaging pupils at his former school.

It did not accept this explanation as the conversations persisted over several days.

The hearing was told the head teacher of Broadlands Hall School had found Mr Stuart to be "hard-working" and "enthusiastic, dependable and supportive".

The panel considered that Mr Stuart's behaviour was exacerbated by using his private tutoring business as a means of contacting his former pupils.

Mr Stuart was banned from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, youth accommodation or children's home in England.

He is not entitled to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach.

"In my judgment, the lack of insight means that there is some risk of the repetition of this behaviour and risks the future well-being of pupils," said Alan Meyrick, who made the decision on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education.

Additional reporting by PA