Claims ‘ruined’ life of former teacher

3:30pm Thursday 15th May 2014

A FORMER deputy head teacher at a Torfaen high school, accused of unacceptable conduct, said the allegations have “ruined" his life.

Alun Rees, who taught at Llantarnam School, appeared at a General Teaching Council for Wales hearing in Cardiff yesterday for the second day of a tribunal relating to incidents which allegedly happened 10 years ago.

Rees faces five allegations that say that while he was a registered teacher at the Cwmbran school he made inappropriate comments, initiated inappropriate conversations and had inappropriate physical contact with female pupils. He is also alleged to have made inappropriate comments to a female colleague.The allegations are said to constitute unacceptable professional conduct.

Rees denies all allegations with exception of the one relating to a female colleague.

The committee heard that during a private tutoring session with pupil A, 15, Rees complimented her belt. He then sat close to her so their legs touched. Following the session, he gave her a lift home and asked her what sort of men she went for.

Rees told the hearing the comment he made was “a general comment”.

Putting into context the conversation about the type of men that she went for, he explained she had made a remark about two actors.

He said: “I didn’t know who George Clooney was, but I did know who Bruce Willis was. I said ‘not old bald men’.

He added he “was not trying to imply anything.”

Pupil A’s mother gave the school a statement saying the way Rees looked at her daughter was “peculiar, a bit creepy”.

Rees questioned why the mother hadn’t said something as she was just outside the room when he was tutoring her daughter.

An allegation from Pupil B said Rees had picked her up in a swimming pool, which Rees denied.

A third pupil alleges Rees asked her if the tan she had was an “all-over tan” but Rees claimed it was another teacher who said this.

A fourth allegation refers to inappropriate comments made to teacher Rachel Gregory during a lesson.

Rees said he went there invited by Ms Gregory to discuss a job she had applied for.

He admitted making a remark about having seen her underwear which made him excited, and said the next day he went back to apologise – a fact Mrs Gregory agreed to when giving evidence.

In summary, Rees' representative Catherine Grubb said the witness statements from the pupils and their parents were "fundamentally flawed".

She claimed both Rees' actions and their interpretations had been distorted.

Rees was dismissed from the school at a disciplinary hearing on February 6, 2004. He has not returned to the profession since.

Yesterday, the father-of-four said: “This has ruined my career and my life.”

Proceeding.

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