North East Wales

Wrexham teacher texts to girl, 14, 'highly inappropriate'

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

A maths teacher's "highly-inappropriate" texts to a 14-year-old pupil amounted to unacceptable professional conduct, a tribunal has found.

Matthew Nichols, 29, worked at Ysgol Bryn Alyn, in Wrexham.

An Education Workforce Council panel found some of his actions were sexually motivated.

Mr Nichols, who was cleared of sending inappropriate texts to a 16-year-old, will be sanctioned at a later date.

The fitness to practise panel heard he was previously questioned by police who found Mr Nichols had exchanged 425 texts with a girl which he claimed they were "innocent".

He was never charged with any criminal offence and there was no physical sexual contact.

The probe was sparked by two concerned pupils approaching a learning support assistant over texts their 14-year-old friend received from him in September 2015.

Nichols, who has a fiancee, admitted inappropriate communication with two pupils but said an "innocent" exchange with another had been "misconstrued".

'Concerned'

The panel felt some of the messages went "far beyond" what was appropriate.

The exchanges included references to "hugs in the woods" and "kissing under the mistletoe".

Panel chairman Richard Parry Jones said: "The timing, volume and frequency of communication was highly inappropriate.

"Communications were sent by Mr Nichols very late at night."

Mr Parry Jones added the panel were "particularly concerned" with the "covert nature of the communications" and noted Mr Nichols asked the girl to "delete the messages".

A final decision on what sanction Mr Nichols will face was adjourned to a later date.

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