Teacher banned over “inappropriate relationship” with child under 18

A man has been banned from teaching in England for life after having a romantic relationship with a “vulnerable child”.

As reported by the BBC, Andrew Boreland “kissed” and “cuddled” the child he met while he was working as a church youth leader, the Teacher Regulation Agency said.

Mr Boreland, who worked at Bishop Barrington School in Bishop Auckland, had been involved in an “inappropriate” relationship with someone aged under 18 although it was not criminal, a misconduct panel said.

They said although no laws were broken, the teacher “fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession”.

Mr Boreland met the child, called Individual A by the panel to protect their identity, at a church where he was a youth leader.

Individual A did not attend the school where Mr Boreland taught, the panel said.

The panel said Mr Boreland was “aware of the vulnerability” of Individual A and that being a youth leader put him in a power of authority, power and control over youth members.

Mr Boreland and Individual A became “physically intimate” in September 2020 and the pair “kissed, cuddled and touched intimate areas”, the panel said.

No criminal offence was committed however in part because the child was above the age of consent.

At one point in their relationship, the child was reported missing to police by concerned parents only to be found at Mr Boreland’s home.

The teacher hid the relationship from the school, church leaders and his family, the panel said.

This showed that Mr Boreland realised the relationship was inappropriate, they said.

But the teacher said he did not consider the relationship inappropriate and so did not feel the need to disclose the issue to the school.

The panel said its findings were “particularly serious” as they included “sexually motivated behaviour towards a vulnerable child and dishonesty”.

They said Mr Boreland’s reluctance to accept any responsibility for his conduct and his “failure to recognise his professional obligations as a teacher” meant there was “some risk of the repetition of this behaviour”.