Kent

'Touchy feely' teacher banned from profession

Hillview School for Girls Image copyright Google
Image caption David Spencer taught at Hillview School for Girls

A "touchy feely" teacher has been banned from teaching.

David Spencer, taught at Hillview School for Girls in Tonbridge, Kent, for four years but has been struck off.

A misconduct panel heard he touched girls' legs and placed his hand on theirs as they used a computer mouse. However, the teaching panel decided his actions were not sexually motivated.

Mr Spencer was handed an indefinite prohibition order in August.

Mr Spencer, who told the panel he was a "touchy feely" and "tactile" person, began teaching at the school in September 2013 and became the curriculum leader for ICT and computer studies.

In December 2014, the deputy head gave Mr Spencer a letter advising him of how his behaviour needed to improve following a complaint.

Two years later, Mr Spencer's HR manager sent him a further letter outlining expectations of his behaviour.

In May 2018, a complaint was made from the sister of a pupil who said there had been "inappropriate physical contact".

The school conducted a disciplinary hearing and Mr Spencer was dismissed for gross misconduct. He stopped working at the school in June 2018.

Upper thigh

The panel heard from a pupil who said Mr Spencer had placed his hand on her upper thigh.

In other evidence Mr Spencer admitted it was not uncommon to touch legs with students and explained that he could "knock knees - a daily occurrence".

Other pupils told the panel how he would touch their shoulders.

According to the report, released on 7 October, the earliest Mr Spencer can apply to have his prohibition order set aside is 2023.

Follow BBC South East on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram. Send your story ideas to southeasttoday@bbc.co.uk

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites