A deputy head teacher who inappropriately hugged and tickled young pupils and also took them out of class to buy TEDDY BEARS has been banned from teaching for life.
Brett Holden was also the acting head of St George’s Primary School in Kidderminster, Worcs., when he “cuddled”, “embraced” and “tickled” children.
The 37-year-old let pupils aged between 3-11 sit on his lap and called some of them pet names such as “my princess”.
The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) was told he also fed a girl Angel Delight dessert from a spoon to a bad girl during lunch.
Between September 2008 and April 2013 he let one pupil call him “dad, sat between the legs of another and was seen “overly-cuddling” a third young girl while he taught a PE lesson.
He also “unnecessarily entered” a girl’s dormitory alone on a school trip after they had gone to bed and it had been checked by female staff.
A NCTL professional conduct hearing was told he took four girls in a car to a Build-A-Bear shop to buy teddy bears to be used as school house mascots.
The panel found the string of allegations of unacceptable professional conduct against Holden proven at a hearing on July 8.
On Monday he was struck of the teaching register for life by the Education Secretary.
The Department for Education (DfE) ruled there was “extensive and consistent evidence of inappropriate behaviour”.
Alan Meyrick, deputy director of the NCTL, said the evidence showed that the teacher had regularly had “physical contact of an inappropriate nature” with pupils – mainly girls in Years 5 and 6.
He said: “This was serious repeated behaviour over a period of time.
“In addition, Mr Holden was given warnings about his behaviour.
“Despite the advice given, the panel found that Mr Holden brazenly continued with a disregard for the guidelines, school policy and training he had received.
“The panel found that Mr Holden failed to observe the proper professional boundaries required between teacher and pupil and that he repeatedly blurred those boundaries.
“We are satisfied that the conduct of Mr Holden fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession.
“The panel therefore finds that Mr Holden’s actions constitute conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.
“There is a strong public interest consideration in respect of the protection of pupils given the serious findings of inappropriate physical contact with children.”
Holden was not present at the hearing but admitted most of the accusations in writing.
The panel heard no parents had made a complaint about the matter and there was no suggestion Mr Holden’s actions had been of a sexual nature.
Holden was handed a lifelong teaching ban on Holden, whether at a school, sixth form college, youth accommodation or children’s home, which he can only appeal against in the High Court.