Teacher arrested at Bolton school over allegations he had relationship with pupil

A teacher at a Church of England comprehensive in Bolton where two other masters have quit over sex scandals has been arrested over allegations of a relationship with a pupil.

The 37-year old suspect was detained as he was about to board a train at a railway station following a complaint about his behaviour.

He was questioned on suspicion of inciting sexual activity with a child and bailed pending further inquiries.

Today the accused man’s identity was ordered to remain a secret under recently introduced and controversial government legislation which outlaws the naming of teachers accused of criminal offences against pupils.

He is the third teacher from the 1,700 pupil Canon Slade School in Bolton, Greater Manchester to be arrested in two years.

In 2012 physics teacher Andrew Ward, then 46, was jailed for 12 months after amassing a library of more than 9,000 pornographic images of children on his personal computer.

Earlier this year Andrew Welsh, 35, an assistant head of year 10 at the school and whose wife is a GP, was arrested after he began an extra marital affair with a Year 11 girl.

That relationship only came to an end when the teenager’s mother caught Welsh hiding under her bed. He is currently awaiting sentencing after admitting sexual activity with a child.

Today the school, where former pupils include TV actress Maxine Peake of BBC’s Silk, Coronation Street star Katy Cavanagh and former Radio One DJ Sara Cox, was investigating the third suspect for ‘inappropriate communications’. with a pupil.

He was suspended from his post at the establishment where the Latin motto ‘Ora et Labora’ translates as Pray and Work.

He is currently on bail until July 16 with conditions he is not allowed to enter the school or contact pupils.

In a letter to parents, the school warned them not discuss the matter on social media and insisted the investigation was focusing on ‘an isolated issue with one individual’ and says there have been no other incidents reported by other pupils or staff.

It added that all teachers at the school undergo a criminal records check and school bosses had ‘no information or reason to be concerned’ before the allegations came to light.

Jointly signed by headmaster Canon Philip Williamson and chairman of Governors The Rev Canon Matt Thompson, the letter read: “We are writing to inform you that a member of staff was suspended on June 4 when the school was made aware of police concerns relating to them.

“We understand that you will have been concerned by the contents of this letter and we wish to assure you that we prioritise the care and welfare of all our children at our school.

“All statutory checks including an Enhanced Criminal Record check are completed for all members of staff and the school had no information or reason to be concerned in employing the individual.

”As soon as information came to the school in relation to these matters swift action was taken.”

Canon Slade School was originally founded in 1855 by local vicar Canon James Slade as the Bolton Church Institute and was initially aimed at educating the poorer children of Bolton.

But it became a direct grant grammar school and then a comprehensive and is currently marked as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

It is one of Bolton’s top performing schools regularly posting among the best GCSE results in the borough.

In 2012 Bolton Crown Court heard how father of two Ward who taught science at the school kept an online catalogue of cartoons within instruction manuals detailing how to abuse youngsters as well as ‘extreme images’ of adults with animals.

He also trawled the social networking site Bebo for images of girls and saved pictures of a number of girls in their school uniforms and swimming costumes.

His searches extended to the Japanese version of Google, where he entered words related to torture, rape and bondage.

He protected his computer with a password and used software to wipe searches in a bid to disguise his crimes.

But he was caught when a police investigation discovered that a computer at his address had been used to download a video of a child being abused. Police raided his former home and found 9,802 images, including 97 videos.

Ward admitted possessing and making indecent photographs of children, possessing extreme pornographic images and possessing prohibited images

He is currently banned from working with children indefinitely and was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Last May father of one Welsh was at the same court after it emerged he began a three month relationship with a pupil when she sought his advice because she believed she suffered from depression.

The lovers had sexual liaisons at Welsh’s home, the girl’s family house and in a vehicle parked in a Sainsbury’s car park.

The pair were said to have had sexual intercourse twice and would kiss and cuddle each other in what was described as a relationship of ‘genuine affection’.

He even had artwork by the pupil on his walls at his family home in Atherton near Bolton, and paid her £100 for the work to ‘boost her own ability’.

Welsh is currently selling double glazing and is awaiting sentence after he admitted six counts of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust.

His wife is believed to be standing by him.

Today Greater Manchester Police said: ”On Tuesday, 3 June 2014 Greater Manchester Police received reports that a man had incited sexual activity with a child.

”A 37-year-old man has been arrested and bailed until 16 July 2014 pending further inquiries.”

The suspects name is being kept a secret under a clause in the Education Act 2011 which was introduced in 2012.

The law states it is on offence for a newspaper to publish anything likely to identify a person as a teacher alleged to have committed a criminal offence against a pupil at the same school, where that allegation has been made by or on behalf of the pupil.

The restriction can only be lifted once the teacher is charged with an offence or if he or she agrees to waive their anonymity

But freedom of speech campaigners claim the law could lead to abuse claims at schools being ‘swept under the carpet’.

Story via Cavendish Press.

Related Articles