Teacher gets life-long ban from profession after admitting affair with student

Ruth Vaughan, now 26, taught at a private boarding school in Rutland

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The Independent Online

A 26-year-old teacher has been disqualified from the profession for life after she admitted to an affair with a student.

Ruth Vaughan, a design and technology teacher at Oakham School in Rutland, a private boarding institution, kissed the school pupil at his leavers ball on 28 June, 2013.

Ms Vaughan, who has subsequently moved to Saudi Arabia, admitted that the pair kept in touch over the summer, becoming “friends” and later starting a sexual relationship shortly after the unnamed boy started his first term at university.

In addition, the National Council for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) also found that Ms Vaughan, originally from Bristol, had bought two underage students drinks at local pub the Lord Nelson in November 2013 – and then asked them to lie about it.

The NCTL found her guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and banned her from teaching for a minimum of three years.

Ms Vaughan started working at the school in September 2012, but by June 2013 the deputy head was informed of her relationship with the pupil, referred to throughout proceedings only as Student A.

Both initially denied the accusations, but the student later told the panel they had begun sleeping with one another roughly a month after the leavers ball in June.

Although Ms Vaughan never taught the pupil, the pair had met through the cadet service at the school when she had acted as an instructor.

She was dismissed in November. Prior to her dismissal a mother contacted the school, showing school authorities a message from one of the individuals who had been bought a drink by Ms Vaughan, asking him to lie about events.

Alan Meyrick, NCTL deputy director, said: "This is a case in which the teacher has breached acceptable boundaries and has also been dishonest about her actions. These are both serious matters."

However, Mr Meyrick recommended that given Ms Vaughan's inexperience at the time of events the decision should be reviewed in three years time. He also added that her actions were on the "lower end of the possible spectrum," and did not involve grooming.

Head of Oakham School Nigel Lashbrooke said: "Miss Vaughan’s behaviour fell significantly short of the standards expected by the profession. 

“We therefore took swift and decisive legal action,” he told the Daily Telegraph.