Hounslow teacher struck off for bombarding vulnerable girl pupil, 15, with messages

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Hounslow teacher struck off for bombarding vulnerable girl pupil, 15, with messages

A senior female teacher has been struck off for bombarding a vulnerable student with loving messages.Donna Slater, 48, arranged for a 15-year-old f

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A senior female teacher has been struck off for bombarding a vulnerable student with loving messages.

Donna Slater, 48, arranged for a 15-year-old female pupil to meet a strange male at night for ‘mentoring’.

The former teacher at Heston Community School in Hounslow, London, was banned from the classroom for the 2017 incident.

It came several years after she got into trouble for letting a teenager stay at her home after she had been excluded from school and reported missing to police in 2010.

Donna Slater, 48, arranged for a 15-year-old female pupil to meet a strange male at night for 'mentoring'. The former teacher at Heston Community School (pictured) in Hounslow was banned from the classroom for the 2017 incident

Donna Slater, 48, arranged for a 15-year-old female pupil to meet a strange male at night for ‘mentoring’. The former teacher at Heston Community School (pictured) in Hounslow was banned from the classroom for the 2017 incident

In 2017, as well as sending increasingly ‘intimate’ messages to the underage girl, she ignored a voice mail from her explaining another pupil wanted her to engage in sexual activity.

Slater introduced the girl to an adult male, who had no connection to the school and had not been vetted, late at night outside school, believing the man could help ‘mentor’ the teenager.

She also gave him the pupil’s mobile phone number, the Teaching Regulation Agency hearing in Coventry was told.

Ms Karen McArthur, who chaired the panel, said a ‘similar incident’ took place in 2010 involving Ms Slater’s relationship with a former pupil at the school.

She continued: ‘In the information provided it is clear Ms Slater formed an inappropriately close relationship with a pupil who had been excluded from the school.

‘The pupil stayed at Ms Slater’s address on several occasions and Ms Slater was accused of harbouring the pupil who had been reported missing by the police.

‘She did not notify the school or social services that the pupil was staying with her. The panel identified clear parallels between the previous incident and the current allegations.’

The latest case, involving a ‘vulnerable’ teen referred to only as ‘Pupil A’, happened at Heston Community School in Hounslow, where the teacher had worked for 13 years.

She gave a man the pupil's mobile phone number, the Teaching Regulation Agency hearing in Coventry was told (file image)

She gave a man the pupil’s mobile phone number, the Teaching Regulation Agency hearing in Coventry was told (file image)

As learning coordinator and head of year 7, she was pastoral lead and was responsible for working closely with the school’s designated safeguarding chief, the panel was told.

She signed the school’s annual School Safeguarding Pledge on 10 October 2016 and had completed safeguarding training at the start of that year.

In the WhatsApp messages, including those shared outside school hours, Ms Slater rubbished colleagues, shared personal information with Pupil A, and told the girl she was ‘lovely’.

The WhatsApp messages revealed Ms Slater seeking to meet Pupil A ‘in the absence of any proper reason’.

She also arranged for Pupil A to meet an adult male ‘with no professional connection to the school, with whom Ms Slater also shared Pupil A’s mobile phone number’.

Ms Slater also failed to take appropriate safeguarding action in respect of disclosures made to her by Pupil A, that another student, called Pupil B, had proposed sexual activity with the teenager.

The panel was told that another concern was that Ms Slater had undermined the student’s relationship with another female teacher with messages such as: ‘This is about her insecurities & she doesn’t like feisty girls that make her look & feel bad. 

‘I don’t need to prove myself. She feels like she does. If she doesn’t see how lovely u r that’s her loss & stupidity.’

She also warned Pupil A that she would need to ‘be careful’ in relation to other children at the school who were ‘devious’.

The panel was told the meetings between the student and the man, referred to only as Person 1, ‘took place outside the education setting and were late at night’.

Ms McArthur added: ‘The panel was satisfied that Ms Slater’s conduct, by introducing Person 1 and Pupil A, may have put Pupil A in a vulnerable situation.

‘It appeared that Ms Slater intended for Person 1 to form a mentor-like relationship with Pupil A, which was capable of influencing Pupil A.

‘Further, the comments made about colleagues and other students were capable of undermining Pupil A’s relationships with them, which is particularly harmful in the context of an already troubled and vulnerable student.

‘Accordingly, the panel was satisfied that Ms Slater was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.’

Banning her from the classroom with the right of appeal in three years, decision maker Sarah Buxcey, for the Education Secretary, said: ‘The panel considered that Ms Slater did not show meaningful remorse for or insight into her actions. 

‘The panel noted that Ms Slater did not provide a statement or any mitigating circumstances to explain her actions.

‘The panel noted there were no character statements or references in the bundle provided from any colleagues that could attest to her abilities as a teacher.

‘Ms Slater’s conduct was a clear breach of the Teacher’s Standards.’ 

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