A TEACHER who had an affair with a pupil has been banned from the classroom.

A disciplinary hearing heard that Ryan Leverton, a PE teacher at Bishop Fox's School, in Taunton, between 2009 and 2013:

  • sent her text and/or Facebook messages;
  • met her one-to-one in an office at the school, pulled her towards him and kissed her;
  • had sex with her at his home, in a hotel up to three times, in his car more than once and at her parents' home at least once;
  • acted inappropriately towards PE students, including making inappropriate comments, engaging in conversations of a sexual nature and smacked another pupil on the bottom.

Leverton, 35, who did not attend the National College for Teaching and Leadership hearing in Coventry, has not admitted the allegations.

But the panel found him guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and/or conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.

Pupil A told the hearing of her affair in 2010 with Leverton, who she described as "someone she could talk to and trust".

She said he sent her five or ten "flirtatious" texts a day, saying he missed her or that she was beautiful, and expressing emotion about their relationship as he arranged meetings.

On one occasion Leverton was said to have called Pupil A to meet him in a school office, where he pulled her towards himself and kissed her.

She said another time Leverton picked her up in Taunton in July 2010 and took her to his house, where they had sex.

Pupil A said they had sex on up to three occasions in two hotels in the area - an employee at one of the hotels confirmed that the teacher had stayed at one of the hotels in question.

The couple had sex in his car in a layby in "a neighbouring county" on another occasion and at her parents' home.

Pupil D, who said Leverton was popular, gave evidence that he asked her and another pupil if they were waiting for him to "lie on top of them" during a gym session before winking at them and looking at them in a sexual way.

During a bowling trip, Leverton allegedly told one girl she had "nice legs".

At another time he told Pupil D "looked really good", adding that her "body looked like it was in good shape".

The panel found Leverton guilty, although alleged behaviour of engaging in conversatons of a sexual nature with one or more pupils and smacking a pupil on the bottom were not proven.

The hearing's decision maker, Alan Meyrick, said: "The teacher's actions were deliberate and there was no evidence Mr Leverton was acting under duress.

"Indeed, the panel found that Mr Leverton's actions were pre-meditated and sustained over a period of time."

He added: "Mr Ryan Leverton is prohibted from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children's home in England.

"Furthermore, in view of the seriousness of the allegations found proved against him, I have decided that Mr Ryan Leverton shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of his eligibilty to teach.

Bishop Fox's head teacher Kerry Tonkin said: "We are aware of the recent hearing by the National College for Teaching and Leadership regarding a former employee and support its outcomes.

“We take our safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously and acted immediately and appropriately as soon as allegations were made, over four years ago.

“The employee was immediately suspended and all relevant authorities were notified and provided with any support requested.

“I can reassure students and parents that the safety and wellbeing of our students has always been, and will continue to be, of paramount importance.”