Melksham teacher banned after sending sexual messages to pupil

Ben Hutchins, pictured in 2011 during a charity event

Ben Hutchins, pictured in 2011 during a charity event

First published in Melksham
Last updated
by , Corsham and Melksham reporter

The former head of English at Melksham Oak Community School has been banned from teaching for life after sending messages to a pupil “enticing her to engage in a sexual act”.

Teacher Benjamin Hutchins sent private messages on Twitter to the sixth former and contacted others via Facebook, breaching the School’s Code of Conduct.

The 37-year-old was also found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct for falsifying English coursework.

Police cautioned the teacher in January 2013 for abusing his position of trust, and a National College for Teaching and Leadership panel said because Mr Hutchins had accepted a caution this “established a clear admission of guilt as to his conduct”.

He was suspended, and later dismissed. During his suspension Mr Hutchins received specific written advice from Melksham Oak’s headteacher, Steve Clark, that he should not contact pupils by social media, but he still continued to do so.

The panel has now concluded that Mr Hutchins’ behaviour was “wholly unacceptable” and “renders him incompatible with being a teacher”.

It said: “We find there is no expression of remorse or regret for what occurred or recognition of the impact his conduct has had on pupils, colleagues or the school.” It also ruled he should never be allowed to teach again.

Headteacher Mr Clark this week issued a statement saying: “As soon as the issues were raised our school processes worked immediately and effectively to protect the young people in our care. We have nothing to add to the panel’s findings.”

Read the full report here

*The headline for this article has been amended to read ‘pupil’ from pupils at the request of Benjamin Hutchins

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