Female history teacher struck off for same-sex affair with teenage pupil who moved into her house

Women holding hands

A female history teacher has been struck off for having a ‘sexual’ lesbian relationship with a former student who eventually moved into her home. 

misconduct panel from the Teaching Regulation Agency heard Gemma Beckett began a “mutual romantic relationship” with a student, known as Pupil A, while she was working at John Newman Catholic College in Birmingham.

Beckett joined the school in September 2016. In late 2016, Beckett and Pupil A began their relationship when Pupil A commenced Year 13 at the college. She turned 18 that September as well. 

The panel heard their relationship “intensified” in 2017, and Pupil A left the college in July that year. By October, she moved into Beckett’s home.

The college was notified in September 2019 that Beckett was in a relationship with a former pupil, and an investigation commenced. Beckett resigned from her role at the college in November 2019, before the investigation concluded.

The panel placed a prohibition order on Beckett, meaning she is not allowed to undertake teaching work unsupervised in schools or other settings.

‘Sexually motivated’

Beckett did not attend the hearing but admitted to all of the allegations in her signed response. She also admitted her “conduct amounts to unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute”.

Beckett also admitted that her conduct had been of a “sexual nature and sexually motivated”. 

The panel found that – while Pupil A was over the age of 18 when their relationship started, and she left the college before the “most serious conduct commenced” – the relationship arose as a result of Beckett being her teacher. The panel said Beckett’s actions were “dishonest”, and she “lacked integrity”.

The panel also heard that the teacher and teen had exchanged gifts, which the teacher did not tell her superiors about. The pair had also met outside school, including at Beckett’s house. 

Beckett and Pupil A also exchanged emails, which the panel said were “extensive in number”. The panel found the emails were sent to Pupil A’s email address. The emails were sent late at night on one or more occasions, and they referred to her feelings towards Pupil A.