Disciplinary panel rules on catalogue of ‘unacceptable professional conduct’
12:10pm Monday 11th March 2013 in News
A FORMER teacher has been banned from classrooms for at least three years after being found guilty by a disciplinary panel of “unacceptable professional conduct”.
Tariq Qureshi, aged 52, who taught maths at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy between 2009 and 2011, was banned after a Teaching Agency hearing found that he: l Engaged in inappropriate physical contact with pupils l Made friends with pupils on Facebook l Made suggestive remarks to pupils l Asked pupils if they were gay l Slapped a pupil with a ruler l Showed pupils a “sexualised” music video l Accessed “inappropriate” material on a school computer The panel recommended a three-year ban for Mr Qureshi, which was then enforced by education secretary Michael Gove.
Mr Gove said: “Mr Qureshi repeatedly breached professional boundaries in respect of his relationships with pupils in his care.
“He made inappropriate suggestive remarks. He crossed professional boundaries after two suspensions.
“These findings of misconduct are of a serious nature and they fall significantly short of the standard of behaviour expected of a teacher.”
He added that while his behaviour was not “at the highest end of the scale”, it was serious and persistent.
The decision means that Qureshi is banned from teaching in any school, sixth-form college, youth accommodation or children’s home in England.
He may apply for the order to be set aside, but not until 2016, and, if he does so, he will have to persuade a panel that he is fit to return to the classroom.
In its findings the disciplinary panel says Mr Qureshi acted in an inappropriate manner towards pupils.
A teaching assistant gave evidence that he made reference to an icon flickering on a computer screen by saying to a girl, aged about 13: “I wish it was you flashing there.”
The panel also found that Mr Qureshi made inappropriate comments and engaged in inappropriate physical contact with another pupil, identified only as pupil A.
She made a written statement in May, 2010, when she was 15 or 16, saying that on several occasions Mr Qureshi greeted her in a corridor with the words “Hello Darling” in a funny accent and stroked her arm.
He also tickled her on the waist from behind when she had been locked in a classroom with him by another pupil and tapped her on the head with exercise books and rulers, the panel heard.
The panel also found that he slapped another female pupil on the back of the legs with a ruler and told pupils that he had met a girl at college, that he had fallen in love with her, and that he was getting a divorce from his wife.
During a Year 8 lesson in December 2011, Mr Qureshi showed an “inappropriate” music video, Hold You, by Gyptian, showing male and female dancers moving around each other in a seductive manner with “sexual” body language.
The panel also found that he accessed inappropriate websites on the school computer, during school time, including a video named “F... Your Mom” which shows a man talking with a woman about dating her mother.
“Neither of these videos related to mathematics teaching. Both included sexual, alternatively suggestive, content,” the panel reported.
Mr Qureshi also accepted pupils as “friends” on social networking site Facebook, although it was noted that the allegation related to 2009/10 when Facebook was not “recognised as a potential minefield”.
The panel also said the school had given limited guidance about the dangers of Facebook at a training day in September, 2009.
Qureshi, who did not attend the hearing in Coventry, has a right of appeal to the High Court within 28 days.
The Bolton News was unable to contact Mr Qureshi or anyone from the school to comment.
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