Teacher who kissed a pupil in a nightclub during an alcohol-fuelled night banned from the classroom3 min read

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Religious education teacher, 29, who kissed a pupil in a nightclub during an alcohol-fuelled night out is banned from the classroom

  • Jennifer Arding, 29, kissed a pupil in Casino Rooms nightclub in Rochester, Kent 
  • Sent pupil message saying: ‘Make sure you won’t say anything about last night’ 
  • She quit her job and has now been banned from teaching for at least two years  

A religious education teacher who kissed a pupil in a nightclub during a boozy night out has been banned from the classroom.

Ms Jennifer Arding, 29, who was also a deputy head of year at St John’s Catholic Comprehensive school in Gravesend, Kent, had gone to the Casino Rooms nightclub in Rochester one night in December 2017 with a colleague.

A Teaching Regulation Authority disciplinary panel sitting in Coventry heard that at the club Arding kissed the 18-year-old who was at the time a pupil at the school.

Arding accepted she kissed the pupil on one or more occasions – but she claimed he instigated the kisses.

She also admitted to sending the pupil a message afterwards saying: ‘Make sure that you won’t say anything about last night, I could lose my job over it.’

According to the hearing report, the pupil told someone that on the night of the kiss he and Arding went to another teacher’s house. 

The notes of his statement said that the other teacher, Charlotte Bradley, went upstairs to bed and that he and Arding slept on sofas in the same room downstairs but these allegations were not proven.  

Arding said in a statement: ‘Although Pupil A and I shared a kiss it was not my intention for this to happen. It is clear from talking to others who were present on the night that Pupil A instigated the kiss and was attempting to kiss others present that evening.

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‘As I had consumed some alcohol on the night, I did not successfully stop this from happening and accept that this fails far below any professional standards expected from myself or indeed any teacher.’

But the panel said her conduct was not sexually motivated and she was not looking for a sexual relationship but it was ‘conduct of a sexual nature’.

A Teaching Regulation Authority disciplinary panel sitting in Coventry at Cheylesmore House (pictured) ruled that Arding be banned from teaching for at least two years

A Teaching Regulation Authority disciplinary panel sitting in Coventry at Cheylesmore House (pictured) ruled that Arding be banned from teaching for at least two years 

Arding said: ‘The kiss that occurred…was a spontaneous moment of stupidity. There was no build up to it. At no point had I contacted this student and given him any impression that I wanted this to happen. From my perspective there never would have been any further contact of this nature.’

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In cross examination she accepted she did not reject his advances and the kissing was a sexual act but the panel ruled was not sexually motivated.

The panel said Arding was ‘clearly intoxicated’ and ‘not properly in control’ and ruled she had no particular interest in Pupil A and there was no evidence of ‘any flirtatious behaviour by either party before the kissing’.

Arding and history teacher Charlotte Bradley, who was with her on that night out. claimed they had no memory of what occurred but the panel were satisfied she did kiss the pupil on at least one occasion. 

The panel heard Arding quit her job in April 2018 after reports about the conduct were reported.

Arding has now been banned from teaching for at least the next two years, said decision maker Alan Meyrick. 

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