A FORMER deputy head teacher at a Gwent high school has been accused of unacceptable conduct, at a tribunal over allegedly inappropriate behaviour with female pupils.
Alun Rees, a former teacher at Llantarnam School, appeared at a General Teaching Council for Wales hearing at a Cardiff hotel yesterday, relating to incidents which happened ten years ago.
Rees faces five allegations that say while he was a registered teacher at the Cwmbran school, he made inappropriate comments to female pupils, initiated inappropriate conversations with female pupils, had inappropriate physical contact with female pupils, and made inappropriate comments to a female colleague during a lesson.
The allegations are said to constitute unacceptable professional conduct.
Rees denies all the allegations with exception of one – he accepts he made inappropriate comments to a female colleague.
Teachers at the school were made aware of pupils’ concerns around November 2003.
The committee heard that during a private tutoring session with pupil A, 15 years old at the time, Rees complimented her on her belt. He then sat close to her so their legs touched. She moved her leg and he again touched hers. Following the session, he gave her a lift home and asked her what sort of men she went for, before commenting: “bald older men”.
Pupil A also reported Rees had told her she looked beautiful at the May Ball and that he had noticed her in a red top at a sixth form event.
Pupil A’s mother gave the school a statement saying the way Rees looked at her daughter was “peculiar, a bit creepy”.
An allegation from Pupil B was based around a school trip, when she said Rees had picked her up in the swimming pool before asking her to sit with him. A third pupil, Pupil C, alleges Rees asked her if the tan she had was an “all-over tan” and if she “went for older men”.
A fourth allegation refers to teacher Rachel Gregory.
David Bright, then head teacher at the school but now retired, was called as the first witness during the tribunal’s opening.
He led the school investigation into the allegations, prior to a disciplinary hearing on February 6, 2004, when Rees was dismissed from teaching.
He has not returned to the profession since.
In a statement, Mr Bright said he recalled how Ms Gregory alleged Rees interrupted her lesson and asked her if she was attracted to him.
She claimed he said he had noticed her underwear and it excited him and insinuated they should have an affair, as two other colleagues were known to be doing.
Mr Bright further said that in interview, Rees had admitted to the incidents alleged by the pupils. He said: “I was quite surprised and shocked.
“I had anticipated Mr Rees would say this was fabrication and hadn’t happened.”
Mr Bright said prior to the allegations, Rees was thought of as “very committed, passionate about education, hard-working and a good communicator.”