North East Wales

Wrexham teacher banned over 'flirty' pupil texts

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

A maths teacher who sent "flirty" texts to a 14-year-old pupil has been banned from the classroom.

Matthew Nichols, 29, also sent "highly inappropriate" messages to a 16-year-old, the Education Workforce Council hearing was told.

Mr Nichols, who used to work at Ysgol Bryn Alyn in Wrexham, messaged the girls between July and September 2015.

The disciplinary panel deemed his actions amounted to unprofessional conduct and banned him for two years.

A previous hearing was told that late-night texts included sensitive information about Mr Nichols' girlfriend, references to hugs in the woods, kissing under the mistletoe, breaking the rules and keeping secrets.

An investigation began after two girl pupils approached a pastoral support assistant because of concerns about texts to their 14-year-old friend.

A barrister for Mr Nichols said he had since had counselling and had lost his job because of what had happened.

Announcing the sanction on Tuesday, chairman Richard Parry Jones said Mr Nichols had shown "limited insight" and his actions were "serious incidents of unprofessional conduct".

The decision came after a three-day hearing of the panel at Ewloe in Flintshire.

An NSPCC Cymru spokesman said his behaviour amounted to "a significant abuse of this trust".

"Schools should be places of safety for children and teachers are trusted to play a key role in safeguarding all pupils' wellbeing," the spokesman said.

"The panel has been clear that his actions were unprofessional and that his safeguarding training was ignored and it is right that he has faced the consequences."

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