Former Hitchin teacher banned after kissing student
- Credit: Archant
A secondary school teacher has been banned from teaching at any of the country’s schools after she admitted kissing a student.
Heather Bartlett was employed at Hitchin Boys’ School between September 2011 and March 2013, when she met the pupil on three occasions between May and June 2012 outside of school, including at her house, and kissed him on three occasions.
According to a report by the National College for Teaching & Leadership – part of The Department for Education – the 27-year-old, who was a geography teacher at the Grammar School Walk academy, was cautioned by Herts Police on January 29, 2013, for sexual activity with a male aged 13 to 17 and abuse of a position of trust.
The newly qualified teacher admitted the facts of the allegation against her, and also agreed to unacceptable professional conduct to a Professional Conduct Panel held on October 7.
Paul Heathcote, decision maker on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove, said that Ms Bartlett’s actions involved abuse of a position of trust. This was compounded by her initial denials on separate occasions to both the police and the school.
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Mr Heathcote noted that Ms Bartlett is regarded as a good teacher and acknowledged her own submissions, including expressions of remorse and her insight. The panel noted that her actions were deliberate and she was not acting under duress.
Ms Bartlett is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.
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She has a right of appeal to the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court within 28 days from the date she is given notice of the order.
Hitchin Boys’ School was contacted by the Comet but failed to comment at the time of going to press.