North East Wales

Teacher denies sending 'sexually suggestive' texts to pupil

The outside of the Bryn Alyn comprehensive school in Wrexham Image copyright Geograph/Eirian Evans

A maths teacher exchanged "flirtatious and sexually suggestive" text messages with a 14-year-old girl, it has been claimed at a conduct hearing.

Matthew Nichols, who used to work at Ysgol Bryn Alyn in Wrexham, denies unacceptable professional conduct between July and September 2015 at an Education Workforce Council hearing.

He admits inappropriate communication with two pupils.

But said an "innocent" exchange with a pupil had been "misconstrued".

Despite this, Mr Nichols admitted breaching the school's child protection policy and staff-acceptable use of its ICT facilities policy.

Presenting officer Cadi Dewi said police found 425 texts between the 29-year-old teacher and a pupil while there were also Facebook and Snapchat messages to a second girl.

The teacher said the conversation was not intentionally sexual but agreed he had been naive.

While he was questioned by police, Mr Nichols was never charged with any offence and there was no physical sexual contact.

Miss Dewi said Mr Nichols accepted to police that the communication was "inappropriate and flirtatious", telling the hearing messages were also "sexually suggestive".

Among pictures to the second pupil was one of his bed, she said.

"The two pupils didn't feel the contents of the messages were appropriate to be sent from a teacher to a pupil," assistant headmistress Claire Corfield said.

For Mr Nichols, solicitor Martin Mensah said: "The key issue is whether the conduct was sexually motivated."

The hearing continues.

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