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Former teacher at SS Peter & Paul Catholic College in Widnes banned from classrooms
2:00pm Wednesday 30th January 2013 in News
A FORMER teacher at SS Peter & Paul Catholic College in Widnes has been banned from classrooms for at least seven years for failing to maintain professional boundaries with pupils.
Education Secretary Michael Gove imposed the ban on David Wolfarth from teaching after a disciplinary panel found Wolfarth guilty of unacceptable professional conduct whilst employed at the college in Highfield Road and also at Cowley Language College, St Helens.
The Teaching Agency panel found that, during 2008, while at Cowley Language College, he communicated with 'Pupil A' on Facebook, met her during the summer holidays, took her to his home and attempted to kiss her.
Police records showed that Pupil A told an officer: "I contacted Mr Wolfarth through Facebook and he asked to meet me in Liverpool which I did."
Though Wolfarth denied trying to kiss the girl, the panel said it was satisfied that he did.
It found that he also communicated with Pupil B on Facebook in relation to personal matters.
Wolfarth admitted that he had discussed a book that he was writing in which one of the characters was loosely based on her.
While employed at Widnes, the findings revealed he failed to maintain appropriate boundaries with Pupil C by holding a number of one-to-one meetings with her in his classroom between January and May 2010, which included conversations about personal matters.
Recommending he should be banned, the panel said his behaviour 'fell significantly short of the standard of behaviour expected of a teacher'.
The findings continued: "His conduct put public trust in the profession at risk and he failed to maintain a high standard of ethics and behaviour.
"Mr Wolfarth has seriously departed from the standards expected of a teacher and has abused his position of trust towards three pupils; this was a pattern of behaviour.”
In imposing the ban, Mr Gove said: “Mr Wolfarth’s behaviour is a serious departure from the standards expected of a teacher and he has abused his position of trust. He has shown a lack of insight and understanding through his failure to heed the warnings he was given, his failure to adhere to guidance and his lack of regard to the safeguarding training he received.
“In the circumstances I endorse the panel’s recommendation that a prohibition is appropriate and that no review shall be allowed until 23 January 2020.”
If Wolfarth does seek to return to teaching in 2020, he will have to persuade a panel that he is fit to go back in the classroom.
He has a right of appeal to the High Court within 28 days.