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Former Leicester school teacher given two-year ban over inappropriate relationship with pupil

The former deputy head of Leicester Grammar School has been banned from teaching after having an inappropriate relationship with a pupil and starting a sexual relationship with her after she left.

James Rich, 47, was employed at Leicester Grammar School from September 2012 to December 2018. He was initially employed as deputy head, and later worked as acting headteacher.

Leicester Time: Former Leicester school teacher given two-year ban over inappropriate relationship with pupil

The Teaching Regulation Agency found that Mr Rich’s conduct “fell significantly short” of the standards expected of the teaching profession, having favoured one pupil and had a sexual relationship with her after she had left school.

In its judgement the panel found allegations he failed to maintain appropriate professional boundaries with the girl – known as Pupil A – by sharing details of his private life and giving her excessive praise, proven.

Despite denials from Mr Rich, the panel also found evidence from friends of Pupil A, particularly in the form of messages discussing the relationship, also showed a sexual relationship had begun in the summer of 2017, after she left.

But it also said further allegations, that his behaviour at school was sexually-motivated, were not proven.

Mr Rich was not present at the hearing and was not represented. He had denied the allegations.

The panel said it was satisfied that the conduct of Mr Rich, in relation to the facts found proved, involved breaches of the Teachers’ Standards.

Members ruled: “Whilst the panel considered Mr Rich’s conduct to be sufficiently serious to require prohibition, the panel noted that Pupil A was over the age of 18 when the relationship became sexual, and that the relationship appeared to be consensual. The panel did not consider there was a particular risk of repetition, but found that Mr Rich had not yet developed appropriate insight as to the potential consequences of his actions.”

A two-year review period was given for the case, with the panel concluding: “The findings indicated a situation in which a review period would be appropriate and, as such, decided that it would be proportionate, in all the circumstances, for the prohibition order to be recommended with provisions for a two-year review period. The panel considered that a period of two years would give Mr Rich the opportunity to demonstrate insight into and remorse for his actions and conduct.”