Merrill Academy teacher Leigh White banned for life

Merrill Academy in Alvaston
Image caption Leigh White taught maths at Merrill Academy in the Derby suburb of Alvaston

A teacher who kissed and cuddled a pupil has been banned from the profession for life.

Leigh White, 28, taught maths at Merrill Academy in Alvaston, Derby, when he engaged in the activity with the teenage girl.

He denied his behaviour was sexually motivated but accepted a caution from police last year.

A professional conduct panel found it was a case of "serious misconduct" and gave him a prohibition order for life.

White was questioned by police and suspended by the school after two complaints were made to children's charity the NSPCC.

Previous warning

He admitted having an inappropriate relationship with the girl, known as Pupil A, between 1 March and 12 May and accepted a police caution for "abuse of a position of trust" and "sexual activity with a child".

White later admitted to the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) panel that he had flirted with the girl, told her he loved her, kissed, hugged and held hands with her, but all outside the school.

According to the report, White had previously been verbally warned for making a girl feel uncomfortable because of his behaviour.

The panel said this added to its decision to make the ban lifelong.

'No remorse'

Paul Heathcote, from the NCTL, made the final decision on behalf of the education secretary.

He said: "The panel has judged Mr White's behaviour to be sexually motivated despite his consistent denial that this was the case. His behaviour had the potential to result in harm to Pupil A.

"There is no evidence of insight and no remorse beyond an acceptance that what he did was wrong and naive."

A spokesman for the school said: "Under the academy's rigorous safeguarding practices, prompt action was taken as soon as allegations came to light."

White cannot apply to the NCTL to restore his right to teach "because of the seriousness of the allegation", although he can appeal against the ruling at the High Court.

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