Teacher Who Had Sex With Sixth Form Pupil Struck Off Teaching Register
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A teacher has been struck off after having sex with a pupil.
Ross Spittal, from Bishopton, Scotland, admitted that he had sex with the pupil - Pupil A - on at least two occasions at the home he shared with his girlfriend in 2019.
At the time, the 32-year-old was working as a maths teacher at Inveralmond High School in West Lothian.
He was caught after his partner discovered over 800 email exchanges - including nude images - between Spittal and the pupil, 18.
She then told the school what was going on and Spittal was suspended from his job.
Despite losing his job, he has been attempting to save his career, arguing that he is fit to teach.
His case was heard today (9 February) by a panel of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).
During the hearing, the mother of the pupil Spittal had the affair with spoke out in his defence.
In a written statement, she said: "He has shown credibility in his role and professionalism at all times.
"His encouragement allowed pupils to believe in themselves."
She also told the panel that she has 'no concerns about Mr Spittal's teacher pupil relationship with Person A and sees them in a stable relationship and has been integrated into their family life'.
Claire Rafferty, acting as legal council for Spittal, said: "Mr Spittal took steps to realise why he acted and what he can do to prevent this from happening again.
"He has been under total remediation for two and half years, showing a passion and commitment to teaching.
"I'm not sure what else a person could do to remediate.
"I am confident he would make the right decision when faced with difficult circumstances.
"He has put measures in place to ensure if similar circumstances would arise he would not repeat his actions.
"His personality traits make it unlikely there will be a repetition of conduct."
The panel heard that Spittal first kissed the teenager after she stayed back to help his classroom in April 2019.
Presenting Officer Sarah Donnachie said that Spittal has not been honest about what happened.
She said: "Mr Spitall did not act honestly at Inveralmond, he knew what he was doing was wrong and he tried to cover up his actions.
"Mr Spittal has shown no efficient insight into his actions. He has not fully engaged with his feelings and not been honest with himself in the events that led to the kiss.
"Mr. Spittal knew what he was doing was wrong. He only disclosed this to Inveralmond when his ex-partner discovered the relationship."
Defending himself, Spittal told the hearing that he was sincere in his apologies for his actions.
He said: "I think about it every day while I'm sitting in my van about where I could be if I hadn't made stupid mistakes.
"I made decisions and choices I made in a five to six week period I am ashamed and embarrassed of.
"My professionalism was called into place, it won't happen again, I admit all of the allegations."
However, ruling on the case, Panel chair Alison Reid said: "In relation to stage 2 fitness to teach the panel's findings are that the teacher has fallen significantly short of the standards that are expected of a registered teacher and is therefore unfit to teach.
"Section 18.2b of the public services reform order means that the panel has to direct that the teacher be removed from the register."
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