Birmingham & Black Country

Cleared Birmingham teacher banned for misconduct

School sign
Image caption Mr O'Malley has been banned from the teaching profession indefinitely

A school teacher has been banned from teaching indefinitely for touching boys inappropriately.

Joseph O'Malley, who taught at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School in Billesley, Birmingham, was cleared of criminal charges last year.

But a disciplinary panel found he "failed to maintain proper...boundaries" in relation to three pupils.

It found the former guilty of professional misconduct.

Mr O'Malley, who was not present during the hearing, abused his position of trust and that his behaviour had been "sexually motivated", the panel concluded.

The panel noted the allegations were "emphatically denied" by O'Malley in recorded police interviews and heard evidence he was a "good teacher" about whom there had been no previous complaints.

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In February 2013, parents of some pupils at the Billesley school reported their children had been touched inappropriately by Mr O'Malley. This led to the criminal investigation and his subsequent acquittal.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership panel investigated allegations by five pupils who claimed they were inappropriately touched.

Allegations by three pupils were found "proven" by the panel, including one accusation of touching a pupil's back and bottom on a number of occasions in the classroom, and touching the top of another pupil's leg while alone in the school toilets.

Panel chair Alan Meyick said in his ruling: "This case was a serious one and involved actions that were for the purpose of Mr O'Malley achieving or seeking to achieve some form of sexual gratification.

"The panel has also found that Mr O'Malley's actions were an abuse of his professional position."

He added: "In view of the seriousness of the allegations found proved against him, I have decided that Mr Joseph O'Malley shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach."

Mr O'Malley was given 28 days to appeal against the decision.

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