A MARRIED teacher who kissed a teen teaching assistant during class and allegedly swapped nude pictures with her has been banned from school for a year.
John Lawrence, 35, admitted to taking his attention away from his six-year-old pupils for a “stupid kiss” with the 18-year-old in a nearby forest in Mid Wales.
The Year One teacher resigned “out of shame and embarrassment” over the “inappropriate” behaviour with the classroom assistant known as Colleague A at the primary school.
He admitted to letting his pupils out of his sight to enjoy a “fleeting moment” with her and argued it only lasted up to 10 seconds.
He later resigned after allegedly swapping nude images with a the young woman, a fitness to practice hearing of the Education Workforce Council was told.
Sioned Hughes, deputy head of the Ysgol Trefonnen school, said: “Colleague A had been in the school’s forest area with a female pupil when Lawrence arrived with his class.
“Lawrence stayed with Colleague A while his class of pupils as young as six ran on ahead.
“Colleague A advised that Lawrence kissed her but she pushed him away and asked him not to because they were working.”
‘A STUPID KISS’
Lawrence admitted the kiss was a “little peck”, the misconduct hearing was told.
The hearing was also told he also messaged the teen on social media – which is against school rules.
Ms Hughes said: “Colleague A told me that she had taken some naked photographs and had received some as well.”
Lawrence admitted to breaching the school social media policy, kissing Colleague A on school property during lessons and letting children out of his sight while engaged in inappropriate conduct with Colleague A.
He denied his actions were sexually motivated and that it constituted unacceptable professional conduct.
Lawrence, who is married to wife Kelly, started teaching at the countryside village school in 2015.
He resigned last year and has been working as chef.
He said: “I would wish to reiterate my apologies and my regret.
“It was a stupid thing to do. A stupid kiss, a stupid message and it has cost me my job at the school as well as the mental anguish over the last few months.”
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The misconduct hearing found against him and suspended Lawrence from teaching for a year.
Peter Owen, Cardiff hearing chairman, said Lawrence put his own interests ahead of his pupils and his conduct fell “short of that expected of a registered person”.
He said: “Relationships between consenting members of staff are entirely acceptable, providing they do not interfere with their professional responsibilities, but Mr Lawrence’s conduct took place during school and on a school site.”
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