BBC NEWS | UK | Education | Sex laws are 'unfair to teachers'
Sexual relationships between teachers and pupils aged 16 and over of the student/teacher relationship – is not one into which the law should. The relationship became more physical and full sex began in March, first with a breathalyser Foreign workers in the UK increased by , in . The events fuelled a rumour mill at the school, which cannot be named for legal reasons. SCREAMS as she's jailed for 12 months for having sex with pupil. In , the law was changed to make it illegal for teachers to engage in She said: "If a teacher has a relationship with a pupil at the school at.
The trouble is, it's very easy for the lines to get blurred. Public and private space get muddied. So what do you do?
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You don't want to risk losing the kids, so you give them your own mobile number. And once that's happened, once a number is out there. And emails, too; I've sent personal emails to sixth-formers wishing them luck with their exam the next day. You can't be a jobsworth these days. An email or text is very much a one-to-one thing; a pupil might feel specially valued.
Union: Sex laws are 'unfair to teachers'
Even on the school site, I could be marking online, live, maybe quite late in the evening. I could have had a glass of wine. I could start discussing work with a student who's also online.
It's Facebook by another name, really. You could easily make comments you'd regret. Digital communication is a two-way street. Phil Ryan, a now-retired science teacher from Liverpool, briefly became an unlikely — and, as far as he was concerned, unwished-for — internet sensation last year when mobile phone footage of him doing the funky chicken for a sixth-form class on the last day of term was posted on YouTube and attracted more than 5, viewings and plenty of adverse comments within days.
Teachers and sexual relationships with students aged 16+ | The Sexual Offences Handbook
Earlier this year, more than 30 pupils were suspended from Grey Coat Hospital School, a Church of England secondary in London, after dozens of girls joined a Facebook group called The Hate Society and posted hundreds of "deeply insulting comments" about one of their teachers. Emails can be misinterpreted According to a survey this spring for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and the Teachers Support Network, as many as one in 10 teachers have experienced some form of cyberbullying.
The consequences can be serious for teachers, many of whom are less technologically sophisticated than their students: That can be incredibly distressing. And they can do worse; there was a case in one school where pupils took a photo of a teacher's face, edited it onto a really gross, pornographic image of another woman's body, and stuck it online.
It has called for any school policy that requests or requires teachers to disclose their mobile numbers or email addresses to pupils to be banned; wants new legislation to outlaw teachers being named on websites; would like strategies to prevent all use of mobile phones when school is in session; and has even demanded that pupils' phones be classed as potentially dangerous weapons.
But they've thrown up new pressures and concerns. For a start, they've changed expectations of teachers — there's a real expectation in some schools now that teachers will basically be available at the convenience of the pupil.
There's also, with email, an expectation of a more or less instant response. And these forms of communication are far more informal, in style and content. It had one number on it — hers — and her texts quickly turned intimate, and the relationship sexual.
She arranged rendezvous between lessons, swearing Dean to secrecy, but after 18 months the strain became too much and he exposed what was going on. Prentice received a suspended prison sentence and was made to sign the sex offenders register; Dean said her actions "took a piece of my life away".
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In another school in a different part of the country, a male teacher shared "just one kiss" with a year-old female pupil at an end-of-term party. The teacher was arrested, charged with engaging in sexual activity with a child while in a position of trust and made to sign the sex offenders register, barring him from working with children for 10 years. Yesterday a row broke out over whether the punishment meted out to teachers involved in relationships with pupils above the age of consent is over-the-top or appropriate.
Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, called for ministers to think again about the law that makes it a criminal offence for a teacher to have sex with a pupil above the age of consent at his or her own school. But her comments were criticised by child protection groups who say the law — the Sexual Offences Act — is there to protect children from adults who abuse their trust.
The teacher involved in the second case, who insists on remaining anonymous, said: However immature the teacher may be, it is his responsibility not to go about having sex however much he may fancy her or fancy to have sex with her.
It really is all so banal. Similarly, where a teacher provides friendship to a young adult, the inequality between teacher and student means that it is inappropriate for that relationship to become a sexual one, notwithstanding the ability of the student to consent to sexual acts.
Is it always abusive? Consider a situation where a teacher is vulnerable perhaps there are mental health problems, personal issues or stress and an almostyear-old student is particularly mature, and pursues the relationship. That teacher would, if prosecuted, be guilty.
With such stark consequences, yet not infrequent occurrences of such behaviour, should schools, LEAs and the unions do more? Is it just an occupational hazard?