Kettering teacher struck off for student bra removal request

Southfield School, Lewis Road, Northampton Image copyright Google
Image caption Michael Diggle moved to Southfield, a girls secondary school that takes boys in the sixth form, in 2006

A teacher has been struck off after telling A-level students to remove their bras for a photo shoot.

Michael Diggle, 39, was the "respected" head of creative arts at Southfield School, Kettering, Northamptonshire.

The photographs were taken between 2012 and 2013 for use in a "provocative" play put on by sixth form students.

A professional conduct panel found the teacher acted inappropriately and brought the profession into disrepute, but "was not sexually motivated".

'Provocative poses'

Mr Diggle was promoted to head of creative arts in September 2012.

In late 2012, A-level drama students were asked to put on "a provocative play" called Crave.

Photographs of the students "in provocative poses" were used in the play, the panel said.

Three students were questioned about the photo shoot.

'Fireman's lift'

The panel found that Mr Diggle applied bruise make-up to a student's upper back and neck, asked her to remove her bra and lower her clothing above her waist, commented upon her "curvaceous figure" and at the end of the photo session gave her "a big hug".

He was also found to have asked another student to take off her bra so he could photograph her and later gave her a fireman's lift.

The panel said Mr Diggle's behaviour, and the fact he was alone with the teenagers at the time, was inappropriate.

It did not find his actions were sexually motivated but were motivated by his "pedagogical desire to develop the students' abilities in drama and stretch them".

However, despite his "previously good history" and evidence, including from the students he photographed, that he was "trusted, respected and well-liked", the panel advised the Department for Education he should be struck off for two years.

The panel found Mr Diggle had "not fully accepted that his conduct was wrong".

Southfield School has dismissed him for gross misconduct.

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