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Teacher Sacked For Making Inbetweeners Joke To Student Cleared Of Misconduct

Amelia Ward

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Teacher Sacked For Making Inbetweeners Joke To Student Cleared Of Misconduct

Featured Image Credit: Channel 4

A teacher who was sacked after he 'inappropriately' quoted the Inbetweeners has been allowed to carry on teaching after he was cleared of misconduct.

Christopher Harper, a modern foreign languages teacher, was employed by Kingsdown School in Swindon at the time of the incident.

The allegations came after a pupil told Mr Harper that their mother was single. He replied: "Ooh, is she?"

He also admitted that he said: "If I marry your mum you can finally call me daddy" - a line from Mr Gilbert, Greg Davies' character on The Inbetweeners. He told the hearing he had meant it as a joke, in reference to the Channel 4 show.

Credit: Channel 4
Credit: Channel 4

Harper, who taught at Kingsdown School in Wiltshire, was also said to have had an inappropriate relationship with a different pupil.

According to evidence provided to the teaching regulation agency professional conduct panel, he exchanged more than 2,500 emails with a student - Harper send 898 of them.

The pupil had become 'infatuated' with him, but the panel said that he may not have realised it, accepting that his intention was to help her to improve her German writing skills.

He was also alleged to have singled the girl out as his 'favourite student', and also carried on sending emails to her when she had left school.

Although the emails were described as 'over familiar', the panel didn't find any evidence of 'malicious or inappropriate motivations'.

The report also states he allegedly exchanged messages with a pupil's aunt after she sent him a Valentine's Day card, which was deemed inappropriate.

Kingsdown School, Swindon. Credit: Kingsdown School
Kingsdown School, Swindon. Credit: Kingsdown School

According to the hearing notes, Harper worked at the school between 2017 and 2019. He was dismissed from his role after making the comment, but no further sanctions were requested.

It was confirmed by the panel that the allegation was proven, describing the teacher as 'extremely naive', saying that he exercised 'poor judgement'.

However, there was deemed to be a public interest in keeping him in the teaching profession, with the panel adding that he was a good teacher, who showed remorse and 'insight into his failings'.

The report also added that the pupil the comment was made to was upset by what had happened, given the 'the personal and offensive nature of the comment which had been made at the pupil's expense and had been an inappropriate comment to make to any pupil'.

Topics: UK News

Amelia Ward
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