Tayside and Central Scotland

Breadalbane Academy teacher struck off for pupil affair

A maths teacher who had a sexual relationship with a former pupil has been struck off.

Thomas McNutt, who taught at Breadalbane Academy, Aberfeldy, began the affair with the teenager while she was still at school.

During their relationship, Mr McNutt bought the girl a series of gifts and took her for drives in his car.

A hearing found he "failed to maintain an appropriate professional boundary" with the schoolgirl.

The teacher, who told the girl he loved her and sent her texts, did not appear at a General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) disciplinary hearing in Edinburgh - but was banned from the classroom in his absence.

The GTCS panel was told the relationship did not become fully sexual until after the girl had left school.

Protect children

Mr McNutt had given her a birthday cake and presents, as well as a Sim card to allow her to get in touch with him at any time, the panel heard.

Members of the GTCS panel found Mr McNutt's conduct "fell short" of the standard expected of a registered teacher, saying the onus was on him to distance himself from any "potentially inappropriate situation", such as sexual contact.

In a statement, the panel said: "The committee has decided to direct the registrar to remove the respondent's name from the register. They had regard to the serious departure from standards expected of a registered teacher.

"They considered that the conduct was fundamentally incompatible with being a registered teacher, that it was necessary to remove the respondent from the register to protect members of the public, including children and young people."

The committee added that not removing Mr McNutt from the register would undermine public trust and confidence in teachers.

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