A RELIGIOUS Education teacher faces being struck from the teaching register after being caught in a pub with a pupil.
Gavin Dunsmuir, who taught at Largs Academy, in North Ayrshire, is accused of “forming an inappropriate relationship” with a female pupil – who he apparently planned to hire as his daughters babysitter.
The RE teacher had allegedly attended a pub with the teen, believed to be in S5 or S6, and a group of other former and current pupils from Largs academy.
The 46-year-old was spotted by a fellow teacher who said his body language with the pupil made them “look like a couple”.
Mr Dunsmuir is also accused of taking the teen to another colleagues home and claimed he was “mentoring” her when questioned about their relationship.
The female pupil, who cannot be identified, was in S5 or S6 at the time, but is believed to have left the school the same year.
The “relationship” unfolded between March 2015 and August 2015, and now Mr Dunsmuir’s fitness to teach is being questioned by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) in Edinburgh.
It is believed that following the allegations Mr Dunsmuir separated from his wife Shona, and they are no longer living together.
Giving evidence, Lynsey Muir, a PE teacher at Largs Academy since 2001, told the panel that she ran into Mr Dunsmuir and a group of pupils at the Lounge public house in Largs.
She said: “Gavin came into the pub with pupil A and several other pupils. There were four or five in total.
“I was with a group of probationary teachers and I told them I had to leave. I felt really uncomfortable. Their body language was close, turning to each other
“My blood was boiling from the Lounge. It was in the summer of 2015, so she would’ve been at the end of sixth year.
“She was a sensitive girl with a heart of gold. She lacked self confidence.”
Miss Muir added: “The way the school is it’s common for me to walk past R.E. I recall quite often that pupil A would be in sitting with Gavin alone. On a daily basis.
“I asked Gavin about pupil A and he told me he was a mentor to her.”
Also giving evidence at the hearing was Alan Leishman, a Chemistry teacher at Largs Academy from 2002.
Alan was best friends with Gavin during their time at the school together, and even attended his wedding.
He said: “I felt pupil A and Gavin developed a relationship. I saw them on exam day, she had been at his house but I didn’t ask why. I recall him saying the pupil went as a surprise for his daughter.
“Pupil A got on well with his daughter. He said he was going to use her as a babysitter. I recall saying to Gavin not to get too close. Gavin said she had issues and he knew not to get too close.
“I asked Gavin if anything was going on and he said ‘no’.”
Mr Leishman also told the panel that Mr Dunsmuir’s wife had told him the teacher and pupil were having a relationship.
He added that he was “speechless” when Mr Dunsmuir arrived at his home with Pupil A in his car.
He said: “I never had a pupil come to my home. Gavin said he’d tell me later why she was in the car, and he said that she was at his house as a surprise. I know his daughter liked pupil A.”
When asked by the panel if he was worried about two male members of staff being in the car with a female pupil.
He replied: “I suppose. I made sure the two of us were in the front. Rightly or wrongly I believed everything he said. I thought ‘are staff not allowed to use ex-pupils as babysitters?’
“Gavin mentored her as well as another English teacher.”
Mr Dunsmuir did not attend the hearing which began yesterday (tue) and did not arrange legal representation on his behalf.
Today, a spokesman for North Ayrshire council said: “He is no longer an employee of North Ayrshire council. We will be making no further comment.”
The hearing continues.