Former Rotherham teacher who hugged and kissed pupil is banned

A former Rotherham teacher who hugged and kissed a vulnerable pupil has been banned from the profession.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 5:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 5:18 pm

Robert Nixon was a history teacher and head of year 13 at Wickersley School, where he had taught since 2013.

The 28-year-old resigned from the school in January 2019 after concerns were raised about his relationship with a pupil, who he admitted hugging and kissing.

He accepted he had formed an inappropriate relationship with the girl in question during the academic year 2018/19.

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Wickersley School in Rotherham, where Robert Nixon taught until January 2019 (pic: Google)

Following a meeting of the Teaching Regulation Agency’s disciplinary panel, he has been prohibited from teaching indefinitely and will remain banned for at least two years.

The panel heard how the pupil had hugged Mr Nixon and he had hugged her back on a number of occasions, though he did once express his concerns to the girl that he viewed the conduct as inappropriate.

He also kissed the pupil at the school approximately five times between early and mid-December 2018.

The panel heard how the pair became close following a ‘safeguarding incident’ in October 2018, which did not involve any misconduct on Mr Nixon’s part but in which he had played a supportive role.

The school raised concerns that their relationship was becoming too close and advised him to report it if the pupil attended school early, yet he ignored the instruction and on two occasions during December they were seen going into a private office together between 6am and 7am.

But although the panel found Mr Nixon’s behaviour was ‘clearly conduct of a sexual nature’, it accepted his submission that it had not been ‘sexually motivated’.

A report published today, Thursday, February 6, states: “The panel was satisfied that the conduct of Mr Nixon amounted to misconduct of a serious nature which fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession.”

It goes on to say how Mr Nixon had a previously good history, had ‘shown regret and remorse’ and what happened could be considered as ‘a one-off episode in the context of an otherwise unblemished career’.

Dawn Dandy issued the banning order on behalf of education secretary Gavin Williamson, following the panel’s recommendations.