A TEACHER who performed a sex act in a PE cupboard inches away from pupils has been banned from teaching for life.
Russell Cross was found guilty by a Department for Education Professional Conduct Panel while working at Merebrook Infants School, Furzton, between December 2007 and May 2008.
He will be prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, Sixth Form College, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England. He can not apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach.
The panel found Mr Cross had performed a sex act on the school premises while a colleague, learning assistant Julia Massey was present, and where the act could have been witnessed by a child.
Mr Cross, who serves the town of Buckingham as a town crier, initially denied the claims because he was married, but later admitted the allegations.
The panel stated it was not proven whether Ms Massey performed the sex act or was just a witness to Mr Cross performing the act on himself.
The teacher also admitted to touching the learning assistant on the bottom but said this incident happened after she had slapped him on the bottom.
The panel stated that the touching was ‘sexually motivated’ and that Mr Cross had made at least one comment with sexual innuendo while carrying a bag of balls from the PE cupboard.
The panel accepted Mr Cross had been cleared of criminal charges but rejected his version of events and that the incident in the PE cupboard with Ms Massey was isolated.
The panel was satisfied that Ms Massey’s account of other touching incidents, including him tweaking her bra, grabbing her from under a bench by her trousers, rubbing her back and stroking her thigh during a lesson, was credible.
The panel found Mr Cross’ behaviour breached the Department of Education Teachers’ Standards and Code of Conduct and Practice for Registered Teachers.