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Teacher paid pupil £500 not to report him after asking her if she was ‘still a virgin’

Former teacher Enda Feeney is struck off after sending messages of ‘sexual nature’ to a student he was teaching

Matt Mathers
Tuesday 23 January 2024 16:09 GMT

A teacher who asked one of his pupils if she was still a virgin before trying to buy her silence has been banned from the profession for life.

Enda Feeney, a biology teacher at Trinity Catholic High School in Woodford Green, Essex, sent messages of a sexual nature to the schoolgirl before paying her £500 in hush money.

He was suspended from his role on 5 March 2021 after complaints were raised about his behaviour with the student, who he arranged to meet outside of school.

Mr Feeney also asked the pupil if she would be up for “cuddles and kisses”, a professional conduct panel head.

“I like you so it would be pretty much up to what you wanted”, he told the young student, referred to as Pupil A, when asked why he wanted to meet.

The pupil threatened to report Mr Feeney to his employers if he didn’t give her £3,000.

Mr Feeney, who started working at the school in 1987, admitted handing over £500 to the pupil to “stop all this nonsense” after they had an exchange and settled on the figure.

He admitted meeting the pupil, exchanging money for her not to report him, and that he was “dishonest” and “lacking integrity”.

The former biology teacher also admitted to asking the pupil if she would “consider having a fling” with him and asking whether she would mind “sending a pic” before adding “doesn’t have to be naughty.”

In an interview with police, Mr Feeney said: “I out of curiosity downloaded [an app] and put some likes on her videos.

“She wanted to know who I was and after some exchange of text happened she asked how old I was and I said 54 and she asked if I wanted to be her sugar daddy and I must have agreed and she said she would send me naughty pictures for £20.

“And I don’t know, I must have been possessed.”

The panel concluded that Mr Feeney had acted in a “sexually motivated manner” with “conduct that lacked integrity”.

Sarah Buxcey, the decision maker on behalf of the secretary of state for education, wrote: “In this case, factors mean that allowing a review period is not sufficient to achieve the aim of maintaining public confidence in the profession.

“These elements are the seriousness of the findings involving sexually motivated conduct with a pupil.”

She added: “I consider therefore that allowing for no review period is necessary to maintain public confidence and is proportionate and in the public interest.

“This means that Mr Enda Feeney is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.”

Mr Feeney has also been banned from applying to restore his teaching eligibility.

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