Huddersfield teacher Richard Clarke in trouble over Elland night out

A SCHOOL teacher who allegedly molested two colleagues on a drunken night out has escaped the sack.

A SCHOOL teacher who allegedly molested two colleagues on a drunken night out has escaped the sack.

Richard Clarke – who has been working in Huddersfield schools for the past 14 months – has also been censured for failing to report he had been arrested for drugs offences.

But a disciplinary body has decided that a reprimand is enough.

Mr Clarke, who had been head of the PE department at St Catherine’s Catholic High School, Calderdale, landed in trouble on a night out in Elland.

The General Teaching Council heard that Mr Clarke and several other staff members were on a night out in Bertie’s Bistro in Elland when a number of allegations were made.

Two of the accusations were proved at the disciplinary hearing.

One was that he had pinned a woman colleague to a table, with his arm across her chest, causing her skirt to ride up.

The panel ruled that as inappropriate behaviour.

The victim of the alleged incident had left the event and did not return.

A second female colleague alleged that Mr Clarke had laid on top of her as she slipped on the floor and simulated sex.

The panel heard conflicting evidence about what had happened but again ruled that his behaviour had been inappropriate.

The restaurant incidents happened on February 12, 2009, and the panel was told that less than 24 hours later, Mr Clarke was arrested by West Yorkshire Police for possession of Class A drugs.

The panel members were told he did not report the arrest to his headteacher when he should have done so.

A statement from the panel said: “The allegations amount to unacceptable professional conduct.

“Mr Clarke behaved that night, in an uncontrolled drunken manner towards, and in front of, colleagues on an evening of celebration.

“To behave in such a manner, particularly towards junior colleagues, was to bring the profession into disrepute.

“The committee has decided that it is necessary and appropriate to impose a sanction, in this case a reprimand.

“It accepts that this was effectively a single incident in which you behaved with the utmost boorishness.”

The reprimand will remain on the teacher’s record for two years.

Mr Clarke was told he had a right of appeal within 28 days.

 
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