Senior teacher from One sixth form college is banned over “sexually motivated behaviour” towards student

Suffolk One

Suffolk One - Credit: Gregg Brown

A 60-year-old senior Ipswich teacher has been banned from the country’s classrooms indefinitely after findings that he was guilty of “sexually motivated behaviour” towards a girl pupil.

A teachers disciplinary panel found that Timothy Howard, who was taken on as assistant head of faculty and teacher of English at One Sixth Form College, Ipswich, in September 2011 had, among other things sent inappropriate and flirtatious emails to the girl; used words in the emails to her and another girl such as “Dear Lovelies”; signed those emails “Tim x”; told the girls in relation to a planned class “It will be a treat to spend time with you both”; made “inappropriate contact” with pupils including putting his hand on one girl’s thigh.

The findings of the National College of Teaching and Leadership panel which heard the case in Coventry say that in respect of the main girl he: engaged in an inappropriate relationship with her; sent her text messages from his mobile; emailed her at her personal email address; and met her outside school on occasions.

Details of what Mr Howard, who did not attend the disciplinary hearing, was not represented and who has since resigned from the school after being suspended, said in messages to the girl are given in the panel’s finding.

In one he said : “That perfume is so intoxicating …..but believe me, I am no gentleman.”

In another he said : I love the hair. You really are very glamorous and very kooky.”

In others he said : “I had convinced myself that I had become Charlie Big Balls in the world of Kooks” - “This crazy lovesick teacher feels that he must visit just to make sure she is going to be ok” - “I just wanted you to know that in the middle of the weekend without you (and suddenly I look forward to Monday mornings!) I am thinking of you.” - “One of my targets this year was to find the most beautiful and talented student in Suffolk One and nurture her through her darkest days.” - “I think you are the funniest girl I’ve ever known” adding later “Please let me know how you feel. Please remember that it comes from my heart.”

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He also met the girl at a café where she worked and had sent her messages relating to that saying : “looking forward to Saturday and a right, posh breakfast served by the most glamourous and sweetest-smelling waitress in town” – and “It will be lovely to pop into the café to see you, although your bosses must be beginning to wonder what is happening! They must think I’m a stalker.”

Recommending that Mr Howard should be struck off the findings say : “The findings of misconduct are serious and the conduct displayed would likely have a negative impact on Mr Howard’s status as a teacher, potentially damaging the public perception.

“The panel, therefore, finds that Mr Howard’s actions constitute both unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.”

Imposing the ban on behalf of Education Secretary, Justine Greening, Alan Meyrick, deputy director of the NCTL, said supported the panel’s view that Mr Howard should be banned indefinitely.

However, he left the way open for Mr Howard to seek to have the ban lifted after two years. But he made it clear that if he seeks to do that the ban will not be lifted automatically and he will have to convince another panel that he is fit to return to teaching.

Mr Howard has the right to challenge the findings and the ban in the High Court.

Principal of One, Alan Whittaker, said: “Allegations were made about the inappropriate behaviour of a former employee of the sixth form and we immediately launched a formal investigation in October 2015. During the investigation, the member of staff resigned from his post and police were informed of these allegations.

“Naturally we take matters like this extremely seriously. As soon as we have been notified of allegations, we immediately inform the appropriate authorities.

“We would like to reassure our students and their parents and guardians that safeguarding issues and the welfare of every young person who studies with us is without question our top priority.”