A teacher was charged with serious misconduct for commencing a romantic relationship with a student which went on for nearly three years (including sexual contact). The parents of the student made a complaint to the school and following an investigation the school informed the teacher they considered he had engaged in serious misconduct which breached the teacher’s code of ethics. The teacher accepted he had caused the student distress and resigned.

The school referred the matter to the Teachers Council. The Disciplinary Tribunal held a relationship of this sort is entirely unacceptable and ordered the teacher to be censored for serious misconduct and cancelled his registration. The length of the relationship and the vulnerability of the student were held to be aggravating circumstances but deregistration was very likely for such a relationship even without any additional aggravating factors.