A teacher who told a pupil he was falling in love with her and then sent £500 to in a bid to absolve himself of his guilt has been banned from the country’s classrooms.
Ross Patrick Clark, 39, sent the girl a number of emails and hand-written notes over a period of six months revealing inappropriate details about his private life and on one occasion said he was off to “smoke a couple of joints”.
Mr Clark worked as an English teacher at Prince William School in Oundle from September 2006 until he resigned in February 2014, following health concerns.
In his correspondence with the pupil, he described himself as “weak”, “pathetic” and “a terrible person”.
Mr Clark also indicated that he had a “feeling that he wanted to escape, run away”.
The pupil said she felt that the correspondence was inappropriate and unsettling.
The matter came to a head in around June last year when Mr Clark sent an undated, handwritten letter to the student. It indicates a gift is enclosed which the panel says Mr Clark appears to have offered in order to “absolve” his guilt.
The letter makes no reference to what that gift is, however the decision document states the pupil’s father had contacted the police after a letter was delivered on June 5 which contained £500.
Mr Clark confirmed that he did provide a giftin the sum of £500 to the pupil. The panel noted that in her witness statement to the police the pupilconfirmed that £500 in cash had been enclosed in a hand written note to her.
The details have emerged in a document published on the Government’s website following a National College for Teaching and Leadership professional conduct panel hearing. Mr Clark was not present or represented at the hearing.
In it’s decision note, the panel says: “It was highly inappropriate for Mr Clark to reveal intimate details of his personal life, which showed a disregard for the appropriate and proper professional boundaries. References to his personal feelings and emotions could have had a negative impact on the pupil.
“The panel considered that it would be appropriate and proportionate in all the circumstances for the prohibition order to be recommended with provision for a review period of not less than four years.
“The panel considers the length of this review period reflects the seriousness of the findings against Mr Clark and protects the public interest.
“This could also allow a sufficient time period for Mr Clark to develop the requisite insight and reflection to address his serious departure from the personal and professional conduct elements of the Teachers’ Standard.”
Mr Clark can appeal.