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News

Ex-Nottingham teacher given lifetime ban after former pupil at Derby school said he took her virginity

today6 August 2022 1

Background
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A former Nottingham teacher has been given a lifetime ban from the profession after allegations were made of a historical relationship with a pupil at a previous school he worked at in Derby. The relationship began while Joel Mansell was teaching at Noel-Baker Community School, in Alvaston, in the early 2000s, but the allegations only came to light while he was working at the Bluecoat Wollaton Academy in Nottingham many years later.

The Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) panel heard the 48-year-old met the pupil, only referred to as Pupil A, and they began a relationship. After the allegations were made in 2018, a hearing decided that he had entered into a sexual relationship with a pupil, which resulted in her “losing her virginity” to him.

Mansell had qualified as a teacher in 1997, DerbyshireLive reports. In 2001, he starting working as a teacher at Noel-Baker before leaving in 2006 to join the Bluecoat Wollaton Academy. Mansell admitted that he had spoken with Pupil A by telephone about non-school matters, met her after school unaccompanied and drove her to her home unaccompanied “but on a different basis to the case against him”.

Read more: Nottinghamshire pub celebrates Forest’s return to Premier League with huge giveaway

But he denied meeting the pupil in his home unaccompanied, providing her with alcohol when she was under the legal age limit and having sexual intercourse with her. He also denied his behaviour was sexually motivated and that he failed to “observe a proper boundary appropriate to a teacher’s professional position”.

The panel heard from Pupil A that she and Mansell had swapped numbers after she had received a number of lifts home from him. It was claimed he would ring her landline and they spoke on a number of occasions. Pupil A described that Mr Mansell would “put a voice on” in an attempt to disguise his age, if anyone else picked up the phone.

Pupil A also described being alone with Mansell in his flat on a number of occasions and spending the day with him on a visit to Nottingham. Mansell gave evidence that he had met with Pupil A after school hours as he had given her a lift home on a number of occasions.

In evidence about the inside of Mansell’s property, Pupil A described the flat as “quite bare” and “having a musty smell to it, with a futon type bed in the bedroom”. In his interview under caution, prior to hearing Pupil A’s account, Mansell described his flat as “damp and horrible, with little furniture and a low bed”.

In his evidence, Mansell said that Pupil A must have obtained information about the inside of his flat from the internet but the panel did not find that a credible explanation as to how Pupil A was able to provide the similarities.

Pupil A went on to give evidence that, as the relationship with Mansell developed, she went to his home address, where they had sexual intercourse on a number of occasions. She described in detail losing her virginity to Mansell in the property.

The panel also considered Mansell’s entry into Pupil A’s leaver’s book which read: “Dear (Pupil A), Well, it’s been a ball, in many ways! Remember, a date for February and Venice…Joel Mansell.” Mansell admitted he had written it but could not tell the hearing what it meant.

It was in March 2018 that Pupil A contacted the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse by email, after hearing their radio advert, and alleged that Mansell had sexually abused her whilst she was a pupil at Noel-Baker. The police started a criminal investigation but a prosecution did not follow. The Bluecoat Wollaton Academy suspended Mansell and started their own investigation but Mansell resigned before it was completed in December 2018. The academy made a referral to the TRA.

A newly-published report of the panel’s findings said the panel found Pupil A to be “a credible witness” and concluded that any vagueness or inconsistencies “were consistent with the effect of the passage of time on a witness’s memory and that the pupil was still a child at the time”.

The panel considered that her account regarding the core issues, when considered alongside the other evidence in the case, “was a truthful account”. The report added: “In considering his (Mansell’s) evidence alongside other evidence in the case, the panel did not consider his account compelling. The crux of this case rests on the question of whether Mr Mansell entered into a sexual relationship with Pupil A. The panel finds, it is more likely than not, that Mr Mansell did so.” This, the members, concluded was “completely incompatible with the standing of the profession”.

Delivering a lifetime ban from the classroom on Mansell, Alan Meyrick, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education, said: “Mr Mansell’s conduct was at the most serious end of the spectrum in regard to sexual misconduct and the breach of trust between a teacher and pupil.

“I have also placed considerable weight on the finding of the panel that Mr Mansell’s conduct was ‘a gratuitous breach of trust between a teacher and those in his care’.” Mansell has a right of appeal to the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court within 28 days from the date he is given notice of the prohibition order.

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