Art teacher struck off for online chats with 14-year-old pupil

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AN ART and design teacher has been banned from the classroom after chatting online with a 14-year-old pupil and inviting him to meet up.

Laura MacLeod was a teacher at Forrester High School in Edinburgh when she engaged in “inappropriate communication” with the teenage boy.

The secondary teacher used private messaging and live chats on Facebook to communicate with the boy between June 2010 and December 2010.

During the chats, she referred to the youngster by using a nickname and told him of her plans while out of school.

 

The Art teacher was struck off for her “inappropriate” messages with the 14-year-old

 

She also invited the pupil to find her out of school hours and responded “inappropriately” when the youngster sent “messages of affection”.

Miss MacLeod waived her rights to a full hearing in front of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) by accepting a removal with consent last week.

This means that a full investigation into the matter and details of the teacher and pupil relationship will not be made public.

The GTCS removal of consent order, which was signed by Miss MacLeod, reads: “The Respondent indicated to GTCS that she wished to be removed from the Register in view of the allegations made against her relating to her fitness to teach.

“In accordance with Rule 3.7.1, she was issued a Removal with Consent Order. This Order has been signed and returned by the Respondent. In it she has made the following declaration:

“I waive my right to have a full hearing and admit the following allegations made against me relating to my fitness to teach in full:

“Between June 2010 and December 2010, whilst employed by Edinburgh City Council as a teacher at Forrester High School, Edinburgh, you did engage in inappropriate communication with a male pupil, then aged 14, by way of private messages and “live chat” on Facebook, and during these communications you did:

“Engage in general conversation with the pupil for lengthy periods of time, refer to the pupil using a nickname and disclose your plans and location to the pupil.

“You did invite the pupil to seek you out at times out-with school, invite the pupil to alter his plans to stay and communicate with you;and make inappropriate responses to messages of affection from the pupil.”

The GTCS panel said: “In light of the Respondent’s consent to remove her name from the Register, the Panel decided to direct that the Respondent’s name be so removed.”

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