Headteacher banned after series of inappropriate remarks towards female staff

24 November 2022, 12:26

Headteacher Paul Scott banned
A former head teacher has been given an indefinite teaching ban after making sexual and suggestive comments to female colleagues. Picture: LinkedIn

By Chris Samuel

A former head teacher has been given an indefinite teaching ban after making sexual and suggestive comments to female colleagues.

A Teaching Regulation Agency panel found Paul Scott, 54, made a series of inappropriate comments such as "they're a nice pair of guinea pigs, I'd like to give them a squeeze" and "If you're struggling I'm happy to rub your chest" and other sexualised remarks such as "seeing you in your underwear would be a really good start".

Mr Scott, who had been head of Arboretum Primary School in Derby, was also found to have made other inappropriate and unprofessional comments to several female staff about their appearance, pregnancy and what they were wearing, The Mirror reported.

Other comments included: "you normally wear longer things, your skirt is shorter today", "I'm distracted, you have pictures of dinosaurs on your breasts", and "I can see you have your big pants on today", the disciplinary panel heard.

In the report about the hearing, which was seen by DerbyshireLive, the panel found that it proven that the former educator had referred "to others in a derogatory way" such as a pupil who he commented on as "a bit mad" in the presence of the pupil and their parents and also said: "I'm used to teaching white middle-class children that are like sponges" after he teaching a group of lower ability pupils.

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The panel also said it was satisfied that Mr Scott - who was appointed head of the school in 2016 - had indulged in inappropriate physical contact with co-workers, such as hugging "when he did not have consent from staff members to act in this way".

It concluded that it was not surprising, in that context, that he would not be able to recall each and every instance of physical contact, "particularly when he did not think that this behaviour was untoward".

During the hearing, Mr Scott admitted some of the allegations, denied others and said he could not recall some of them.

Members of the panel took Mr Scott's "otherwise unblemished record" into account and members were presented with "some positive accounts about Mr Scott's character, in the written and oral evidence".

The panel concluded "He engaged in these proceedings and attended this hearing. He admitted some of the allegations.

"Mr Scott had apologised for his actions and recognised and accepted that he had fallen short of the standards expected of him. To that extent, Mr Scott had shown regret and remorse."

But the panel concluded that "the conduct of Mr Scott fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession.

"The findings of misconduct are serious as they include a finding of inappropriate comments and behaviour, inappropriate physical contact, failure to carry out safeguarding responsibilities and sexual harassment".

Mr Scott will be able to apply for the ban be lifted, but not until November 3, 2024 at the earliest.

A spokesman for the Derby Diocesan Academies Trust said: "In accordance with trust policies and procedures, Mr Scott was suspended immediately from his role as head teacher of Arboretum Primary School, pending an independent investigation into concerns raised about his conduct.

"The investigation was concluded in a timely manner. The trust felt that the conduct was serious enough to make a referral to the TRA where it was determined that Mr Scott should be prohibited from teaching."

Mr Scott has a right of appeal to the King’s Bench Division of the High Court within 28 days from the date he is given notice of the prohibition order.

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