A teacher at a Doncaster school has been banned from the profession after touching a girl’s bottom and making lewd remarks.
Michael Hague, 55, a former teacher at Doncaster’s private Hill House School, has been banned from the classroom indefinitely after the Teacher Regulation Authority ruled that he was guilty of unacceptable professional behaviour.
But the panel said that his actions – which included kissing the girl on the forehead, touching her bottom on several separate occasions, hugging her and making filthy remarks – were not sexually motivated.
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Instead, it described his actions as “old-fashioned and not in keeping with necessary safeguarding requirements of today’s society”.
The panel described Mr Hague as “touchy-feely” and said that his conduct may bring the profession into disrepute.
He was working as a PE teacher and tennis coach at the school in Finningley when the accusations came to light in 2016.
The panel also found the pair had swapped text messages – with Mr Hague signing off his texts with “xx”
In relation to the bottom touching, the girl said this had happened on three occasions. She accepted one may have been inadvertent but said the other two occasions were deliberate.
A police investigation took place but Mr Hague was not charged with any offence. He subsequently resigned from the school later that year.
Mr Hague had denied the allegation that he touched the pupil’s bottom but the panel said that it found the pupil’s account to be more persuasive and found this allegation proven.
The TRA panel dismissed allegations that Mr Hague had made comments of a sexual nature to the pupil.
It also rejected the allegations that his actions were of a sexual nature or were sexually motivated.
Mr Hague had denied that any of his conduct was sexually motivated and said that it was “carried out for the benefit of her welfare and was a sign of affection rather than anything nefarious.”
The panel said that while his actions, hugging, kissing the pupil’s head and contacting her by phone were inappropriate they could not discount that these took place “because of some misplaced display of concern for pupil A’s welfare.”
It, therefore, did not find the allegation proven.
The panel recommended Mr Hague be banned from teaching with the ability to apply for this to be reviewed after two years.
This has been accepted by the Department for Education.