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MUSIC MONSTER: Northwood teacher banned for life for sexual behaviour during private lessons

 Published on: 9th April 2024   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

A former teacher at a Northwood private school has been barred from the profession for life for sexually motivated behaviour towards pupils.

At a misconduct hearing held in Coventry at the end of February, the panel concluded that Ian Marcus, 61, should be indefinitely prohibited from teaching in any school, Sixth Form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England. He had previously worked as a music teacher at St Helen’s School.

It was also decided that, due to the seriousness of offences committed by Mr Marcus, he should not be entitled to apply for the restoration of his teaching eligibility – though he did have a right to appeal the panel’s decision for a short period of time.

The hearing was called to investigate a series of allegations made against Mr Marcus concerning his behaviour towards several pupils during his time as a music teacher at St Helen’s School.

It was found that he had engaged in ‘sexually motivated behaviour’ with three pupils. They were Pupil A, aged between eight and 11 years old; Pupil B, aged between seven and 13 years old; and Pupil C, aged nine and 13 years old, all during one-to-one private music lessons at his home.

With Pupil A, between September 2016 and March 2019, Mr Marcus took off her socks and massaged her feet, tickled her under her armpits, asked her if she was going through puberty and called her “beautiful”, amongst other inappropriate actions.

With Pupil B, between September 2013 and March 2019, he told the boy that he had a nice tummy and/or a good physique, touched his stomach and/or chest during breathing exercises, and asked him to lift up his top, amongst other inappropriate actions.

With Pupil C, between August 2015 and March 2019, Mr Marcus allowed her to massage his own feet and/or back, placed his hand under her top, made her sit on his lap and rested his forehead on her forehead, amongst other inappropriate actions.

The panel also concluded that Mr Marcus’ refutation of the allegations lack credibility, due to various inconsistencies and the fact that some of the answers he gave in both his police and school interviews did not seem rational.

Mr Marcus worked for the private school on a self-employed basis from 1991 to 2006, before he was then employed as a music teacher. He worked at the school for six-and-a-half hours a week from the beginning of the 2006/07 academic year.

He continued in this role for just under 13 years, before he was arrested by the Metropolitan Police on March 3, 2019, in relation to alleged conduct during private music lessons. Once the school was informed, they immediately suspended him.

Though the criminal case against him was closed with no further action, Mr Marcus tendered his resignation on August 17, 2020, with the school holding its own disciplinary hearing a week later.

He was referred to the Teaching Regulation Agency in October the same year.

Outlining their reasons for the ban, Marc Cavey, the decision maker for the panel, wrote: “Mr Marcus expressed no remorse nor any insight of the continuous impact of his actions on the pupils and their families. He did not participate in the hearing beyond having a representative attend to report back to him.

“The effect of Mr Marcus’s actions on the three children’s lives continuing into their adulthoods cannot be overstated.

“The panel found Mr Marcus’s attempt during his police interview to divert attention away from his own conduct towards Pupil A and Pupil B by suggesting he had safeguarding concerns regarding their welfare to be particularly odorous and underlined his contempt for the safeguarding of children.”

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