Oxford

Abingdon School teacher 'had sexual relations with boy'

Abingdon School
Image caption Simon Whalley was a teacher at Abingdon School from 2000 to 2014

A music teacher's sexual relationship with one of his pupils was unacceptable and brought the profession into disrepute, a panel has found.

The professional conduct panel of the National College for Teaching and Leadership said Simon Richard Whalley, 47, had relations with a pupil who was in the fifth and sixth forms.

It happened between 2000 and 2002 while he was a teacher at Abingdon School.

Thames Valley Police said no charges had been brought against Mr Whalley.

The Oxfordshire school was contacted by a former pupil last year, known as Pupil A, who said his teacher had taken him out to bars and restaurants, and performed sex acts on him at his flat.

'Flagrant disregard'

Mr Whalley, who taught at the boys' public school from 2000 to 2014, also suggested he spend a week at his flat instead of going on a school trip, the witness said.

The panel heard that Mr Whalley met other pupils at bars and at his flat, buying them alcohol and letting them stay over.

It said he showed a "flagrant disregard for appropriate boundaries" and it was "entirely inappropriate for him to permit himself to be as friendly with pupils as he did".

It described the sexual relationship with Pupil A as the "targeted grooming of a young man attempting to come to terms with his sexuality", calling it "emotionally manipulative".

Felicity Lusk, the head of Abingdon School, said she was "deeply saddened" by what happened.

She added: "Teachers hold a position of trust and the former member of staff betrayed the trust of the pupils, the school and that of the teaching profession.

"His conduct was completely unacceptable."

Police said a complaint had been made against Mr Whalley but was later withdrawn.

Any sanction imposed by the secretary of state will be published next week.

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