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Hedingham teacher struck off for sending ‘flirtatious’ emails to pupil

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Latest breaking news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A Sible Hedingham teacher has been banned from the country’s classrooms indefinitely.

Edward Merry, 40, who taught at Hedingham School and Sixth Form Academy between September 2007 and November 2014 was struck off on behalf of Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, after a disciplinary panel found him guilty of exchanging emails with a vulnerable female pupil which contained “flirtatious and sexual” references.

The National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) panel which dealt with the case in Coventry says in its findings that Mr Merry’s conduct was “sexually motivated” and was “unacceptable professional conduct” which could bring the teaching profession into disrepute.

The hearing, which Mr Merry did not attend and at which he was not represented was told that emails he sent to the girl contained “sexual references and sexual innuendos.”

A suggestion that he would “try anything once,” to “windows steaming up” and to the need for the girl to “avoid being a 40-year-old virgin” were said in the findings to be “clearly flirtatious.”

The panel found that he had failed to take appropriate action over the girl “developing feelings for him” and to safeguarding her personal welfare in the light of references she had made such as to “crying all the time,” “kill me now” and “if you could make my heart stop hurting…..I don’t know how but you could try.”

The findings said he was in breach of his professional boundaries and had exposed the girl to harm.

Ruling on behalf of the Education Secretary that he should be struck off the teaching register indefinitely Jayne Millions, NCTL head of teachers, said a ban was both “proportionate and appropriate” in view of his behaviour.

However, she ruled that he can seek to have the ban lifted after three years but made it clear that this will not be automatic and that he will have to satisfy another NCTL panel that he is fit to return to teaching.

She said whilst there was sexual motivation in the case “it fell towards the lower end of the spectrum of sexual misconduct.”

Mr Merry can appeal to the High Court against the findings and the decision to the ban him.

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