MORE teachers are being banned from the classroom than ever before as the rise of social media has sparked a shocking surge in sexual relationships with pupils, The Sun reports.
A total of 96 teachers were barred from the profession in 2017, with half of them punished for sexual misconduct involving students.
A Sun investigation of Department for Education documents found a huge 66 per cent increase in teachers banned for sexual misconduct over the last four years.
The majority of cases saw teens contacted outside school hours using apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and Snapchat.
Sick messages sent by teachers to schoolkids included “Have you ever fancied me? Even a little? Xxx”, “So u never slid ur hands inside your undies when u in bed?” and “I really just need someone to watch me c**”.
Other teachers sent and requested lewd selfies over social media and one even sent Snapchat videos of himself miming the words of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ to a 16-year-old pupil.
Child protection charities have warned social media is making it easier for predators in positions of power to abuse young people and urged schools to do more to educate youngsters.
Laura Higgins, operations manager at UK Safer Internet Centre, said: “It’s hard to make a valid reason why a teaching professional would need to contact a pupil on social media and we urge teachers to only use work accounts if they are contacting a student outside of school hours.
“There will always be people who want to get to children and social media makes that easier. Where children once had their home life and their school life they are now contactable around the clock and that can open doors to the wrong people.
“That doesn’t mean the platform is to blame. We hear all too often in cases like this of adults saying they were encouraged or egged on through social media contact when there is no excuse for such disgusting behaviour.
“Unfortunately we have known cases with the school’s reaction is ‘our staff wouldn’t do that’ and we need to make sure there is a clear process to be followed. We shouldn’t be putting the responsibility on children to prevent predatory behaviour.
“It can have a huge impact on a young person’s life. Children often don’t know they’re being groomed at the time and feel like they’re falling in love – it’s sometimes only years on they realise they’ve suffered the worst kind of betrayal.”
The number of teachers banned from the classroom has jumped by 50 per cent in four years from 64 in 2013 to 96 in 2017, analysis of National Council for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) rulings shows.
Sexual misconduct cases more than doubled from 23 to 48, while the number involving social media rocketed from 18 to 41.
The number of cases not related to sexual misconduct – such as fraud, exam fiddling and drugs and alcohol offences – stayed relatively flat, increasing from 40 to 48.
Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan told Sun Online schoolkids need to be taught about age-appropriate relationships in the classroom to stop perverts.
He said: “Not only is sexual communication with children a breach of trust, it is unacceptable and punishable by law. So it is deeply alarming that some teachers are engaging in inappropriate relationships with their pupils.
“All schools should follow social media guidance which says workers can’t be friends online with pupils or use social media to contact them. Barnardo’s wants children to understand what an acceptable and healthy relationship looks like through new age-appropriate relationship and sex education lessons.
“Anyone found guilty of misconduct with pupils, particularly grooming, should not be allowed to work with vulnerable children.”
A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “It is paramount that children are protected at school and all schools have a duty to safeguard pupils.
“The department’s statutory safeguarding guidance makes clear that all schools should have a staff behaviour policy which includes, amongst other things, acceptable use of technologies, staff/pupil relationships and communications including the use of social media.
“Teachers are expected to demonstrate consistently high standards of personal and professional conduct. On the very rare occasions when teachers are guilty of professional misconduct, we have tightened guidelines so it is easier to keep them out of the classroom.”
‘I was so happy he noticed me but was left feeling scared and alone’
A teenager whose teacher was banned from the classroom after he sent her sleazy messages on Facebook says she reported him to stop other girls going through her suffering.
The victim, who has asked for her identity to be protected, was 16 years old when she struck up what she believed was a friendship with a teacher in his 20s in the south east of England.
After a few months they began talking outside of school on Facebook Messenger but the conversations quickly turned to lewd comments about her body and questions about her sexual experience.
She said: “At first I was just happy he’d taken an interest in me and I felt like we got on. “I felt he was more of a friend than a teacher. I trusted him and didn’t have anything more on my mind.
“When we started talking on Facebook things changed. At first it was a couple of comments which took me by surprise and I just ignored them and carried on.
“Maybe he saw that as me not stopping him and they got worse, I’d try and change the subject and he’d bring it back to sex. “It was comments about my body, asking if I’d had sex before, that sort of thing.
“It was after a few days I decided to tell another teacher and the school started an investigation.