Head Teacher Banned From Teaching For Life After 'Inappropriate Relationship' With 15-Year-Old Pupil

A married head teacher who had an affair with a 15-year-old pupil who then became pregnant has been banned from teaching for life.

Philip Barnwell, 36, was found by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) professional conduct panel to have had an inappropriate relationship with the year 11 student between 2007 and 2008.

Imposing the ban on behalf of Education Secretary Michael Gove, panel chair Mary Speakman said: "The relationship is said to have involved the teacher frequently spending time alone with Pupil A in school time, communications by text and MSN between them, pre-arranged meetings outside school and overnight stays.

"It is alleged the liaison with the pupil was disclosed by Mr Barnwell to a friend of Pupil A who was in the same year at school.

"It is also specifically alleged that on one night Pupil A stayed at Mr Barnwell's home and shared a bed with him.

"On another occasion it is also said that he took her to a hotel in Brighton where they stayed for two nights during term time and that he falsely told the school that he was absent through sickness.

"Later – shortly after Pupil A had left the school in September 2008 – it is alleged that she was seen near a park together with Mr Barnwell and they 'appeared very close'."

NCTL deputy director Alan Meyrick said Barnwell's actions 'were both deliberate and at times carefully planned'.

He added: "Mr Barnwell abused the position of trust that he held, and he engaged in sexual activity with Pupil A."

According to the Mirror, Barnwell is said to have got the girl pregnant after she left school.

Barnwell was fired from Woodside High School in Wood Green, North London, in 2008. An investigation was shelved when the girl refused to be interviewed and Mr Barnwell refused to comment.

But the allegations resurfaced when he applied for another teaching post and he was ordered to face a professional conduct hearing.

Barnwell insisted: "I am innocent but as the term 'inappropriate relationship' is not clearly defined in either the school handbook or in government guidelines I feel that, regardless of any actual evidence, I will be found guilty as charged."

He has the right to appeal to the High Court.