Hartlepool teacher struck off after sending inappropriate Skype messages to teenage girls

St Hild's Church of England School on King Oswy Drive in Hartlepool.

St Hild's Church of England School on King Oswy Drive in Hartlepool.

A Hartlepool teacher has been banned from the classroom for life after posing as a teen to trick girls into explicit conversations.

Paul Gibson, 47, used Skype to tell girls he believed to be 16 and 17 that he was a 17-year-old boy from Newcastle, a National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) misconduct panel heard.

Mr Gibson was working at St Hild’s Church of England School in King Oswy Drive when he asked the teenagers sexual questions.

Calling himself ‘spidermonkeytoy’ he carried out the conversations with at least six different girls in 2013 and 2014.

He was suspended from work in September 2015, and resigned in March 2016.

After initially claiming the Skype account was used by other family members, Mr Gibson confessed to sending the inappropriate messages.

The report stated: “The panel is satisfied that the conduct of Mr Gibson fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession. The panel notes that the allegations took place outside of the education setting. However, the panel considered that the conduct affects the way that Mr Gibson fulfils his teaching role since parents would not expect a teacher to behave in this manner towards girls of 16/17 years old.”

There is no evidence that the girls who were engaged in the Skype conversations were pupils.

The report started “Although there was no evidence that the girls who were engaged in Skype conversations with Mr Gibson were pupils, given their age, the panel considered that was a possibility Mr Gibson should have had in mind, and that it did not matter whether the girls were pupils of the school at which Mr Gibson worked or not.

“The panel is satisfied that the conduct of Mr Gibson fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession.”

Gibson was handed an indefinite ban from teaching. Due to the seriousness of the misconduct, a representative of the Secretary of State ruled that he will not be allowed to apply to have his right to teach restored.

The representative stated in the report: “In this case I agree with the recommendation of the panel that Mr Gibson should be prohibited from teaching. This means that Mr Paul Gibson is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth from college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England. Furthermore, in view of the seriousness of the allegations found proved against him, I have decided that he shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach.”

Mr Gibson has a right of appeal to the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court within 28 days.