Disgraced Sunderland teacher left previous post after another pupil's claims

A teacher who had an affair with a 16-year-old pupil also left his previous school amid concerns raised by another student.

Monday, 18th December 2017, 4:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th December 2017, 7:55 am
Disgraced teacher David Fenwick.
Disgraced teacher David Fenwick.

Now it has emerged that he joined the Wearside school only two months after leaving a Hartlepool school following a safeguarding allegation raised against him by an ex-student.

History teacher Fenwick had a six-month affair with the 16-year-old Wearside girl after kissing her and making inappropriate comments about her breasts at the 2013 prom, the panel found.

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The misconduct hearing was also told that he suggested they should run away together and that her sent her videos miming words to the song I Will Always Love You.

He began taking her out in his car on their own before having sexual contact with her twice a week on a regular basis, it was said.

The hearing learned how he led her to believe that he would leave his partner for her before instead ending the affair in December that year.

Pupil A, as she was referred to during the three-day case, “experienced significant distress as Mr Fenwick had deliberately led Pupil A to believe that he ‘loved’ her”.

Nearly two years later, after leaving the school, she told another teacher and an investigation was completed by the school in early 2016.

Fenwick, from Hartlepool, was dismissed in February that year for gross misconduct with the decision upheld two months later after he lodged an appeal.

His sacking triggered the National College for Teaching and Leadership panel hearing with the school submitting a bundle of evidence from its own investigation.

“The panel noted that this same document stated that Mr Fenwick resigned from his previous teaching position, prior to commencing employment at the school, as a result of a safeguarding allegation raised by a former pupil.”

The earlier allegation dates back more than 15 years to 2002.

Neither the Hartlepool or Wearside schools - which we have decided not to identify - have given any further details of his resignation or appointment just two months later in November 2002.

The Wearside school last week insisted, however, that its safeguarding procedures are “robust” and judged externally to be “consistently excellent”.

The Hartlepool school declined to issue any comment.

A spokesman for Hartlepool Borough Council said: “Given that this matter is said to go back to 2002, it would exceed the period for which we retain personnel files after a person’s employment with us ends.”

Fenwick, who did not appear before the panel in Coventry, had 12 of the 14 allegations made against him last month proven.

He has been banned from teaching indefinitely “in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or chldren’s home in England” after the Department for Education (DfS) rubberstamped the panel’s findings.