Belfast Telegraph

Belfast grammar school teacher suspended over alleged incident with a female pupil

By Lindsay Fergus

A teacher at a Belfast grammar school is under police investigation following an allegation of inappropriate behaviour.

The man has been suspended by the school, which is co-operating fully with the PSNI.

A complaint was made to police following an alleged incident involving a female pupil at the school in August last year.

The school only learned about the claims of inappropriate behaviour after being contacted by officers.

However, pupils’ parents were not informed about the incident until earlier this month.

It is understood a letter was sent to every parent notifying them that a teacher had been suspended pending the outcome of a police investigation.

The suspended teacher, who is employed by the school’s board of governors, is reported to be popular with pupils.

His students — past and present — have praised him on the controversial Rate My Teacher website for his helpfulness in the classroom.

Such is the reputation of the school that it is oversubscribed year on year.

It is one of the top performing schools at both GCSE and A-level in Northern Ireland.

A spokeswoman for the school said: “We can confirm that the PSNI is investigating allegations concerning a teacher in the school.

“In line with our school policy, the teacher has been placed on precautionary suspension, on full pay, whilst the investigation is taking place.”

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) will decide if the case should be brought before the court or dropped because there is not enough evidence or the allegation proves to be unfounded.

A PSNI spokeswoman said: “No one has been arrested but we can confirm a man has been interviewed and a file sent to the PPS.”

A Department of Education spokesman said: “The Department does not comment on any individual cases of accusations against teachers.

“It is imperative, however, that any accusations against teachers are investigated fully and appropriately by the relevant authorities.

“The Department recognises the difficulties such cases present for all the parties concerned, including accused teachers, and the time it inevitably takes to complete investigations. However, the welfare of children remains paramount.”

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