Two teachers have been found guilty of misconduct and barred from teaching after a staff member was convicted of sexual offences against a child.

At a professional conduct meeting in February, Stephen and Sheila Welsby who were the co-proprietors and principals of St Anne’s College Grammar School, where a high percentage of pupils are known to the child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and have special educational needs including dyspraxia, anxiety, autism and dysmorphia, had six allegations against them proven.

The allegations related to information which was relayed to both teachers in the summer holidays of 201, about a sexual relationship between a teacher (individual X) and a pupil at the school.

Individual X confirmed to both Mr and Mrs Welsby when communications with the pupil had started; that he had originally used his school email account to communicate with her; that the relationship had started with him giving extra help to the pupil; that he hoped that one day he and the pupil could be together; and that he loved her.

It was heard that after the allegations came to light, individual X was spoken to before any witnesses were, and the misconduct was not reported to the local authority or the police for around two months. It was also heard that if the pupil’s parents did not want to report the allegations, then Mr and Mrs Welsby would not do so either.

It was also noted that Mr Welsby did not consider at first that the admissions by individual X were serious, despite the teacher saying he was in love with the pupil, and Mrs Welsby accepted his resignation without carrying out an internal investigation.

The panel found both teachers, who had previously unblemished records were guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

In relation to both Mr and Mrs Welsby, the panel found that: they did not inform the local authority and/or the police that individual X had behaved in a way that may have harmed a child and/or possibly committed a criminal offence against a child; informed individual X about the disclosure/allegation before consulting with a witness; suggested and/or agreed to delay the reporting of the disclosure/allegation; and suggested and/or agreed not to report the disclosure/allegation if the pupil’s parents did not wish to do so.

It was also proved that Mr Welsby did not ensure that the instructions given by police with regards to the retention of potential evidence were carried out promptly and/or properly; and he did not provide evidence of admissions which had been made to him by individual X on or around July 24 2018, until September 4 2018

In respect of Mrs Welsby, it was proven that she did not inform the police of the admissions which had been made to her by individual X on or around July 24 2018, until September 4 2018;  and she accepted the resignation of individual X on or around September 29 2018 without undertaking an internal investigation regarding their misconduct.

It was also found that one or more of their actions and/or omissions had the potential to compromise investigations by the police or the local authority.

Sarah Buxcey on behalf of the Secretary of State, said in the report from the panel meeting: “This means that Mrs Shelia Welsby and Mr Stephen Welsby are prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England. Furthermore, in view of the seriousness of the allegation found proved against them, I have decided that Mrs Welsby and Mr Welsby shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of her eligibility to teach. This order takes effect from the date on which it is served on the teacher.”