Essex teacher banned for life for sex with female pupil

Suzanne Harrison Image copyright Archant
Image caption Suzanne Harrison pleaded guilty to four sex offences in 2011

A geography teacher who had a four-year sexual relationship with an underage female pupil has been banned from the classroom for life.

Suzanne Harrison, 46, became friends with the family of one of her pupils while teaching at a Colchester school.

While minding the pupil and her sister in 2006 Harrison engaged in a sexual encounter with the girl, then 15.

Harrison pleaded guilty to four sex offences in 2011 and was detained under the Mental Health Act.

She was banned from teaching indefinitely and is not able to apply to lift the order after a Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) panel found her behaviour to be "the most serious breach of boundaries".

The report said Harrison had been found out after introducing the pupil, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to her new partner, which led to them beginning a relationship of their own.

The partner, along with the girl's mother, then reported Ms Harrison when the pupil told her of the previous relationship.

'Abuse of trust'

The report said: "In October 2009, Ms Harrison introduced Pupil A to Ms Harrison's then partner, Person B, who then began a relationship with Pupil A.

"In time, Pupil A disclosed the fact of her past relationship with Ms Harrison to Person B."

Harrison was suspended from her teaching post after her arrest and resigned shortly afterwards.

TRA panel chair Alison Robb-Webb said her actions had been a "double abuse of trust", as both a teacher and a friend of the girl's family.

She said: "Whilst there is no evidence of an effect on the wellbeing of the pupil, Pupil A was brought into a sexual relationship at an age where by law and for her own protection that relationship was criminalised."

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