A FORMER teacher accused of forming an ‘inappropriate relationship’ with a young boy has been banned from teaching indefinitely.
The Teaching Agency handed down the ban after hearing evidence about how Phillip Yourell had behaved aggressively towards parents and teachers, taken a pupil to a hotel for a night and lied about a string of previous convictions.
The 49-year-old had worked at Portfields School in Newport Pagnell, which caters for four to 11-year-olds from September 2000 before he was dismissed for gross misconduct in July 2006.
His disciplinary hearing in Coventry heard evidence as to how he had called one student a ‘retard’ and another a ‘he/she,’ and how he had applied fake tan to the boy he was accused of favouritism towards.
It was also revealed that Mr Yourell had a large number of criminal convictions to his name – something he had lied about at his job interview.
Mr Yourell had told headteacher Mary St-Amour and the Governing Body he had only one driving offence, but after a routine CRB check his true list of offences came to light.
It included theft of a vehicle, which landed him a three month detention centre stint in 1982, assault on a police officer, theft, drink-driving and countless driving while disqualified and without insurance offences. His most recent offence came just 10 months before he started at Portfields.
Despite withholding this information from his new employers, the school’s Governing Body felt that, having already spent two months in his post, Mr Yourell should be given a chance.
Paula Harrington, deputy head of Portfields, described a number of incidents of alleged inappropriate behaviour with a pupil. Mr Yourell faced accusations of favouritism, spending a night in a hotel with Pupil A, who he made call him ‘daddy’ and putting fake tan on him – dubbed by the Agency as ‘the fake tan incident’.
There were also a series of meetings held to discuss Mr Yourell’s conduct at the school, including complaints received from concerned parents about the way he treated students.
Not only had parents and students reported his aggressive and threatening behaviour, colleagues and even headteacher Mrs St-Amour had suffered similar treatment.
Throughout the case, Mr Yourell denied behaving in a way that constitutes unacceptable professional conduct or conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.
But The Teaching Agency handed down an indefinite ban, which means he cannot teach in any school, Sixth Form College, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England. And due to the ‘seriousness of the allegations proved against him, he may not apply restoration of his eligibility to teach’.
Decision maker on behalf of the Teaching Agency, Alan Meyrick, said: “We feel that this case has demonstrated that Mr Yourell is totally unsuited to continue as a teacher. Thus the unanimous recommendation of the Panel is that he should be made the subject of a Prohibition Order without limit of time.
“Mr Yourell has been found guilty of a wide range of behaviours which amount to unacceptable professional conduct. Those behaviours have been evidenced over a number of years and in a very deliberate way.
“His relationship with Pupil A over a substantial period betrays a serious departure from the personal and professional conduct elements of the standards that are properly expected of teachers and causes the panel considerable anxiety.
“In addition, many incidents of aggressive and intimidating behaviour are recounted in the case papers towards colleagues and parents. Even more concerning are the comments made to some pupils.
“Taken together with the incidents involving Pupil A some of which were entirely inappropriate, we have concluded that he engaged in behaviour over a period of years that effectively undermined his colleagues, the school and the profession as a whole.
“Mr Yourell’s behaviour has undermined his colleagues and the school and the profession. In addition, he has harmed pupils and deliberately misled his employer.”