Northumberland teacher banned after drinking with students and taking them to strip club

A Northumberland teacher who took students to a strip club on a tour of central America has been banned.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 12:50 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd April 2021, 5:31 pm

Richard Glenn had been head of Sixth Form and a computer science teacher at Longridge Towers independent school, near Berwick.

The 55-year-old had been in charge of a group of 16 to 18-year-olds in Costa Rica in July 2019, a professional conduct panel of the Teaching Regulation Agency heard.

However, six days into the three-week trip, school headteacher Jonathan Lee received a call from the expedition company informing him that Mr Glenn was being sent back to the UK due to his behaviour.

Longridge Towers, near Berwick.
Longridge Towers, near Berwick.

Mr Glenn was dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct following a disciplinary hearing in August 2019. The school then made a referral to the Teacher’s Regulation Agency.

The panel heard allegations that Mr Glenn consumed alcohol with pupils, made inappropriate comments to and/or threatened pupils and was aggressive and exposed himself to the female trip leader.

A report stated that during one drinking session he told a student 'I'm going to kick your f****ing head in', and added to another 'I'm going to f****ing kill you'. It was said he was too drunk to remember the threats the next morning but did not dispute them.

Allegations that one or more pupils were allowed to consume alcohol when they were under the legal age were also found proved.

On taking students to a strip club, the panel noted that there was no malice or sexual intent on the part of Mr Glenn but he admitted it was inappropriate and unprofessional.

Mr Glenn was said to have acted aggressively towards the female leader of the trip when she tried to help him get back into his tent and exposed himself. The panel decided that both incidents were more likely than not to have occurred, although it was agreed by both parties that the act was not malicious or sexually motivated.

Mr Glenn, who taught at the school for 12 years, admitted the facts of allegations and accepted he failed to maintain appropriate professional boundaries.

Caroline Tilley, who chaired the panel, said: “Mr Glenn was, at various times during the school trip, under the influence of alcohol, and therefore not in a position to adequately take decisions or act in loco parentis should the need arise.

"This was in circumstances where pupils under his care were in an unfamiliar country, far from home, and relying on him for guidance and protection.

"Mr Glenn was an experienced teacher and pastoral leader who would have been expected to lead an overseas trip safely, and would have been well aware of the conduct expected of him.”

It was noted Mr Glenn had a previously good history and had cooperated with the panel by making full and frank admissions where he had been able to.

A number of character references, including from colleagues and ex-colleagues, as well as former pupils, referred to previous residential school trips in which Mr Glenn had been involved without incident. The statements also attested to his abilities as a teacher.

The panel considered written and oral statements made by Mr Glenn, in which he took responsibility for his actions and expressed his remorse.

He was banned from the classroom indefinitely and cannot apply to teach again for three years.

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