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Scots teacher admits to having sexual relationship with S6 pupil – but believes he’s still fit to teach

A SCOTS teacher has admitted to having a sexual relationship with a S6 pupil – but claims he is still fit to teach.

Ross Spittal, a former teacher from Inveralmond Community High School in West Lothian, had sex with the pupil at his home on at least two occasions.

The 31-year-old maths teacher, from Bishopton, Renfrewshire, began a romantic relationship with the teenager, believed to be 18 at the time, in 2019.

The relationship was outed when Ross’ girlfriend at the time, Kim Smyth, found over 800 emails between the pair on the couple’s shared computer.

Ross Spittal
Spittal with pupil A in September 2020.

At a hearing in front of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) today Smyth, 32, revealed that she found messages on pupil teacher portal, Glow.

Smyth was tearful as she recounted the moment she found out about the affair and discovered naked images of the schoolgirl that were sent via email to Spittal.

Spittal, brother of Scottish Premier League Ross County footballer Blair Spittal, admitted the relationship but said he believes he should still be allowed to teach.

Referring to the former schoolgirl, Smyth said: “I was aware of Pupil A for years. 

“It was a running joke in the school that she fancied Ross.

“It was [not] surprising for pupils to have a crush on him, but I didn’t think he would act on it.

“I saw that he was searching for Pupil A on Facebook. 

“He said he was feeling low about teaching and he was looking for nice messages pupils wrote about him on Facebook.

 “He was messaging the pupil using Glow at late times.

“The chat and banter you’d expect with a friend.

“We were friendly with a lot of Ross’s colleagues.

Ross Spittal
Ross Spittal

“We would go on nights out and we went to some of their weddings.

“They would tell me he was well liked by pupils, especially Pupil A.

“He always brushed it off.

Smyth added: “One Saturday night at about 2am, me and Ross were sitting in drinking and he kept looking at his phone.

“He was messaging Pupil A on Glow.

“I thought it was extremely odd behaviour.

“The day I came across the emails on our laptop, a message popped up at the bottom of the screen, she was emailing him.

“When I opened the conversation it was happening there and then, they were planning on meeting up.

“On 22 May 2019 I discussed a number of emails between him and Pupil A.

“I found 800 emails between the two dating back to early 2019.

“There were naked pictures of Pupil A.

“I was literally seeing naked photos of her as I was speaking to him on the phone.

“He asked me not to tell the police or the school.”

Smyth told the council one email read: “Kim is at work, you can come over.”

On not phoning the police, she said: “It’s something I regret now.

“I was in complete shock and I was heartbroken.

“It was in his hands to say what he had done.”

Inveralmond Community High School
Inveralmond Community High School in West Lothian.

Police Scotland found that no criminality had occurred after the relationship was later reported to them.

At the time, Smyth had been in a relationship with Spittal for five year and had been living together for three.

The former self employed personal trainer went to the Inveralmond Community High School to give the pupils a talk on being self employed.

She said: “One of Ross’ colleagues asked me to come and speak to the pupils about being self employed.

“I came face to face with Pupil A when she was brought round in a group by Ross.

“When I asked if anyone had any questions Ms A raised her hand and said ‘is this the other woman?’

“I thought that was very confident.

“That must have been a year or so before everything came out.”

Suzanne Young, who was the Head Teacher at Inveralmond at the time of the allegations, spoke of when Spittal came clean to her about the nature of his relationship with Pupil A on 23rd May 2019.

She said: “Ross told me that he had let me down.

“He was shaking the whole way through the meeting.

“He said that nothing had happened whilst she was in school.

“He told me that he kissed her on 10th April 2019 after a Easter school session.

“He said he could not remember who initiated it…

“He said that they had had sex twice.”

Spittal’s legal rep Claire Raftery said her client admits all allegations brought to him by the GTCS.

He admitted kissing the sixth year pupil after an Easter school session in April 2019. 

He also had sexual relations with the same girl at his home in April 2019. 

In May 2019, Spittal told the school’s head teacher that there was “nothing going on at all” between himself and the pupil. 

Today, he admitted to being dishonest about the relationship.

It is believed that Spittal is still in a relationship with the former pupil.

The GTCS investigation will determine whether Spittal should remain on the teaching register and be allowed back in the classroom.
 
The trial will hear Ross Spittal’s defence on 7 February.

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