Ex-Doncaster teacher given '˜lifetime ban' from teaching

A teacher has received a '˜lifetime ban' from the country's classrooms after issues were raised about his conduct while teaching in a Doncaster school.

Thursday, 13th October 2016, 8:58 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 6:46 pm
WK21 Harworth School Serlby Park School.

A disciplinary hearing found the man had failed to keep proper professional boundaries with four girls at the school during his time teaching.

Among the complaints Aaron Godbehere - who went by the name Aaron Beattie professionally - was found guilty of include engaging in conversations of a personal or sexual nature with a girl; and failing to report to his school that a group of girls had sent him a birthday card with a ‘doodle of a penis on it’.

Mr Godbehere, 29, had worked on placement as a student teacher at Serlby Park Academy in Doncaster, during the summer term of 2012, and later went as a newly qualified science teacher to King Ecgbert School, Sheffield, where he remained until he was dismissed in April 2015.

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He faced a string of allegations at a teachers disciplinary hearing in Coventry, some of which he admitted and others which his representative at the hearing conceded it was impossible to contest.

Allegations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a girl from Serlby Park Academy and that he sent a message to another girl from the Academy in which he told her “You’re hot” were dismissed.

He was also cleared of showing favouritism to some girls by giving them disproportionate amounts of house points and of sexually motivated conduct.

But the National College of Teaching and Leadership Panel (NCTL) ruled other allegations, of which he was found guilty, made it both ‘appropriate and proportionate’ for him to be struck off.

They said they amounted to ‘unacceptable professional conduct’.

Imposing what he described as a life time ban on behalf of Education Secretary Justine Greening, Alan Meyrick, deputy director of the NCTL, said: “Mr Godbehere’s behaviour involved serious failures to maintain professional boundaries toward pupils, and to escalate safeguarding concerns - despite being trained and having received warnings in respect to his previous conduct.”

Mr Meyrick said he left the way open for Mr Godbehere to seek to have the ban lifted after two years. But he made it clear that if he does attempt to have it lifted he will have to convince another panel that he is fit to return to the classroom.

The NCTL report states: “The panel has decided that the public interest considerations outweigh the interests of Mr Godbehere. His repeated behaviour and lack of insight were significant factors in forming that opinion. Accordingly, the panel makes a recommendation to the Secretary of State that a prohibition order should be imposed with immediate effect.

They added that they were satisfied that he had fallen “significantly short” of the standards expected of teachers and that they were concerned that he had “not shown sufficient insight into his safeguarding responsibilities and the need to maintain professional boundaries with pupils.”

The NCTL findings say that the panel was satisfied that a conversation took place with a girl identified as ‘student A’ without other staff or pupils present which “was of a private and / or sexual nature.” They said they accepted evidence from the girl hat it made her feel “uncomfortable.”

In response to an allegation relating to a birthday card sent to Godbehere with a doodle of a penis was concerned they said he admitted receiving the card, which had the “doodle of a penis on it” from a group of girls. The panel said that his failure to report the matter was “indicative of an attitude that allowed informal relationships to develop between him as a teacher and pupils.”

Other allegations found proved against him included exchanging emails not relating to education, failing to act when he discovered girls were following him on Twitter, himself following one girl on Twitter, posting Tweets in response to Tweets posted by some of the girls. exchanging Snapchat messages, and inappropriate disclosure of management discussion to one or more female students.