Rotherham teacher banned from classrooms for life after being caught in clinch with pupil

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A Rotherham teacher caught in an embrace with a 16-year-old pupil has been banned from classrooms for life.

The pair were spotted by another teacher ‘writhing’ on the floor of the boarding school’s music room.

History teacher and boarding tutor James Mullen, now 25, had only been at the Hertfordshire school for a few months after leaving university when he was caught.

Mullen, of Kestrel Avenue, Thorpe Hesley, was jailed last year for eight months after admitting three charges of sexual activity with a child while in a position of trust.

Now he has been banned from teaching for life, in a decision taken on behalf of Education Secretary Nicky Morgan following a disciplinary panel finding he was guilty of sexual misconduct.

The findings of the National College of Teaching and Leadership panel say Mullen admitted kissing and showing ‘inappropriate attention’ to the girl, for whom he said he had developed feelings.

Luke Graham, panel chairman, said Mullen had confirmed in correspondence he ‘developed feelings’ for the student.

Imposing the ban on behalf of Mrs Morgan, NCTL official Paul Heathcote said: “The panel has judged this to be a case of sexual misconduct that is serious enough to warrant prohibition with no review period and I agree with their recommendation.”

The panel’s decision means Mullen is banned from teaching indefinitely in any school, sixth-form college, youth accommodation or children’s home in England.