June 2018

Ebbsfleet teacher struck off after claiming to have had sex with seven of his pupils in online chatroom

An Ebbsfleet teacher has been banned from teaching indefinitely after telling a woman he wanted to sleep with that he had had sex with seven of his students.

A Teaching Regulation Agency panel heard how Gary Ryan, a PE teacher at The Ebbsfleet Academy in Southfleet Road, visted a website and had engaged with inappropriate conversations, including one where he told an individual that he had had sex with as many as seven of his pupils, including a 14-year-old.

The conversations took place in April 2016.

He had also admitted during a police interview that he may have viewed images which included children aged 14 to 16.

Ryan, 36, was employed at the school in September 2015 as a teacher and head of house.

The panel found allegations against Mr Ryan proven, including that he had engaged in inappropriate conversations on a quesitonable website and that while chatting to strangers online had told one individual, who he believed to be an adult woman, that he had had sex with a number of his pupils – including a 14-year-old.

The individual he was speaking to online also told Mr Ryan that she has sexually abused her own children.

Mr Ryan admitted these allegetions.

He also gave evidence that on two occasions whilst in a chat room he clicked on links to images without knowing their content in advance, which may have been of girls aged between 14 to 16.

He said that he clicked on the two links within a short space of time and closed the images immediately as he felt uncomfortable with them.

During the online chat, Mr Ryan claimed that these sexual encounters had taken place in a number of locations including his home, his car and the school.

However, the panel accepted his evidence that he had been lying in an attempt to pursue a sexual encounter with the individual with whom he was chatting, whom he believed to be an adult woman.

The panel accepted Mr Ryan’s statement that he had no sexual motivation towards children.

However, using pupils in response to online comments and as part of an ongoing conversation was inherently sexual, and was therefore sexually motivated.

Mr Ryan has now been prohibited from teaching indefinitely after the panel concluded hsi conduct “fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession”.

He may apply for the prohibition order to be set aside, but not until June 2020.

A spokeswoman from The Ebbsfleet Academy said: “The subject matter of Mr Gary Ryan’s professional conduct hearing was bought to our attention by the police.

“We informed the National College for Teaching and Leadership and the Disclosure and Barring Service in accordance with our obligations to report such matters.

“No pupils from the academy were involved.

“Mr Ryan did not return to the school after we were informed of the matter and he left employment at Ebbsfleet Academy on May 31 2016.”