Arts teacher banned after sex with former pupil

AN arts teacher who had sex with a vulnerable teenager has been banned from the classroom indefinitely.

Steven John Laverty, who taught at Harrop Fold Specialist Arts College in Walkden, was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct by a disciplinary panel after a string of allegations were made against him.

Laverty, aged 37, taught at Harrop Fold School while employed on a temporary contract from January 2010 to April 2010.

While there he was alleged to have pushed one boy out of a classroom, pulled another boy by the top of his blazer and pulled him across the floor.

He was also said to have ignored the school’s instructions regarding discipline of pupils.

While previously employed as a PE and art teacher in Merseyside, he was said to have grabbed a boy in the groin during a confrontation and had sexual intercourse with a “vulnerable 16-year-old former student” who he met in a nightclub.

The two were said to be drunk and had consensual sex later that evening.

The panel said that Laverty accepted that the girl was vulnerable and had only just left school.

Laverty did not attend the professional conduct panel of the Teaching Agency but was represented by the teacher’s union NASUWT.

In its ruling the panel stated: “In this case Mr Laverty has admitted various incidents of unacceptable conduct over the period of 2006 to 2010.

“Of most significance in our view is the fact that Mr Laverty accepts engaging in sexual intercourse with a vulnerable former pupil.

“That conduct causes the panel much concern given the potential for it to have resulted in emotional damage.”

Education secretary Michael Gove banned Laverty from teaching indefinitely and said he would not be entitled to apply for “restoration of his eligibility to teach”.

In his ruling Mr Gove stated: “Mr Laverty has abused his position of trust and repeatedly failed to observe the professional relationship boundaries expected between teacher and student. Accordingly I support the panel’s recommendation that a prohibition order be applied.”

Laverty has a right of appeal to the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court.

Cllr John Merry, Assistant Mayor for children’s services said: “Safeguarding is a consistent focus in Salford and we have worked closely with the school to ensure robust safeguarding checks are in place. We are satisfied that the individual was stopped from teaching as soon as concerns were raised.”

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