Computer teacher struck off over pupil relationship

Neale Gordon leaves Portsmouth Crown court
Neale Gordon leaves Portsmouth Crown court

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COMPUTER teacher Neale Gordon has been banned from teaching for having an inappropriate relationship with a pupil.

The 57-year-old, who worked at Crofton School in Stubbington, was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct by the General Teaching Council for England (GTCE).

He had previously been cleared at Portsmouth Crown Court of two charges of committing a breach of trust by engaging in sexual activity with a 16-year-old Crofton schoolgirl in 2005, when he was head of IT.

Mr Gordon was accused of engaging in sexual activity with the girl in his Volvo estate car on two occasions – allegations he dismissed as ‘rubbish’.

But the GTCE hearing concluded he formed an inappropriate relationship with the pupil.

The panel found that the teacher communicated with the schoolgirl by email and MSN messenger, that he had conversations of a personal nature with her, that he took her for lunch alone and that he drove her home at least twice.

Mr Gordon was also found to have initiated a kiss – despite his claims she made the first move.

Allegations that sexual activity took place in his car, which Mr Gordon strongly denied, could not be proven but the GTCE ruled that kissing the girl and having lunch without her parents’ consent amounted to ‘acting in an intimate way’.

The GTCE also found further allegations of Mr Gordon inviting two female students out for a meal, as well as guiding another back to her screen by placing his hands on either side of her head.

Elizabeth Purnell, who chaired the hearing, imposed a prohibition order on Mr Gordon and criticised him for ‘a persistent lack of insight into the seriousness of his actions or their consequences’.

She added: ‘We find that Mr Gordon abused his position of trust in relation to a vulnerable pupil.’

The prohibition order means Mr Gordon, of Fairmead Walk, Waterlooville, has been banned from teaching.

He may however ask for permission to re-register in two years.

Following the original allegations, Mr Gordon, who also used to be a PE teacher at the school, was suspended from Crofton. An investigation by the school’s governing body concluded gross misconduct, for which he was dismissed.

Crofton headteacher Matthew Leeming, who joined the school in January 2008, said: ‘When a thing like this comes to light it’s dreadful for everyone concerned. As teachers we are in a position of trust which carries with it very stringent requirements.’