Teacher kissed pupil and told another: 'You're so thick, it's a good job you're pretty'

·2-min read
Paul Richardson was banned from teaching after his behaviour at Woodham Academy in Newton Aycliffe, Durham. (Google)
Paul Richardson was banned from teaching after his behaviour at Woodham Academy in Newton Aycliffe, Durham. (Google)

A teacher has been banned permanently from the classroom after kissing a pupil and telling another schoolgirl she was "so thick, it's a good job you're pretty".

Paul Richardson, 29, who worked at Woodham Academy in Newton Aycliffe, Durham, also allowed a pupil to sit on his shoulders during a gym session.

A Teaching Regulation Agency hearing into his professional conduct, held in June, was told that Richardson did not dispute any of the allegations against him involving three schoolgirls.

The co-educational school is attended by pupils aged 11 to 16.

Between July 2017 and September 2017, Richardson allowed one girl to sit on his shoulders told her she had "nice see-through leggings".

In a statement to the school, the pupil said: "This made me feel very uncomfortable and vulnerable."

Then, in December 2017, he told another girl: "You're so thick, it's a good job you're pretty".

He also carried around a photo of this pupil in his phone case.

Between late May and 12 August 2018, Richardson held the hand of a third pupil, kissed and cuddled her, and sent WhatsApp messages to her telling her he loved her and wanted to marry her.

He also gave her a key to his house.

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Richardson, who had been working at the school as a cover supervisor, was interviewed by police following a complaint.

He told officers he had said to the third pupil they could get married in the future, the conduct hearing was told.

The pupil had told police: "Yeah he always says like in ten years you and I could be married."

She described the incidents as "still very traumatic", the panel heard, while the other two girls "did not want to relive the events that took place."

Richardson told police: "There was never a sexual thing more of a friendship, like I love ya, let me help you sort of thing.”

But the panel found that Richardson's behaviour was "sexually motivated" and that he "failed to show any remorse or insight into his serious misconduct".

Richardson was prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.

The earliest he can apply for the prohibition order to be set aside is in July 2032.