Former High School teacher struck off

A FORMER teacher at Arbroath High School has been banned from the profession after being found guilty of inappropriately touching a male pupil over 20 years ago.

Andrew Wilson, a computing teacher, appeared before the disciplinary sub-committee of the General Teaching Council Scotland after a complaint was made by a former High School pupil relating to incidents in the early 1990s.

The hearing was told that while Mr Wilson was employed at the school he used “inappropriate practices and behaviour” towards a boy who was then under the age of 16.

The committee found that the complainer, who is now an adult, was reliable and credible in his evidence and that the respondent had been in the habit of touching him on the thigh inappropriately.

Mr Wilson admitted that he touched and squeezed the complainer’s thigh but maintained it was not in a sexual way.

However, he accepted at a police interview in May 2008 that his actions would be regarded as inappropriate today.

After hearing the evidence, the disciplinary sub-committee decided to strike Mr Wilson’s name from the teaching register and took the view that he had harmed a child or placed a child at risk of harm.

A report released by the sub-committee said: “The sub-committee was of the view that in the light of the evidence, the complainer’s version of the events was preferred.

“In particular when questioned about the statement to the police in this regard, he did not seek to retract his statement that his hand may have moved close to the complainer’s genital area.

“In making its disposal the sub-committee was mindful of all the options available and took into account the indicative sanction guidelines.

“The sub-committee decided to direct that the registrar remove the respondent’s name from the register.

“In arriving at this decision members took into account the seriousness of the misconduct, the obligation to protect young people and public confidence and trust in the teaching profession.”

The committee also decided to refer Mr Wilson’s case to Scottish ministers for consideration for him to be placed on the list disqualifying him from working with children under section four of the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act.