Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting HARINGEY to 80360, or email us
Woodside High School, Tottenham, teacher banned after failing to report sexual abuse
A teacher who kept quiet after hearing about “inappropriate contact” between a girl and her stepfather - and told the child not to tell the police - has been banned from the classroom for five years.
Assumpta Nwachuku, a science teacher at Woodside High School, White Hart Lane, Tottenham, was found guilty of conduct that would bring the profession into disrepute by a disciplinary panel.
The National College for Teaching and Leadership announced on behalf of education secretary Michael Gove that Nwachukwu failed in her duty to act in accordance with safeguarding the seven-year-old.
It found she failed to report that the girl, identified as Child A, had told her that her stepfather, identified as Mr B, had made “inappropriate physical contact” with her in May 2011.
Later in the month, the child told her class teacher and the authorities were made aware about the situation.
During proceedings, Nwachukwu said the child’s mother had told her Child A had been kissed by the step-father, but that she thought there was “something deeper”.
The professional conduct panel found Nwachukwu told Child A not to tell the police about her claims - but Mr B was then convicted and sentenced to 20 years in jail.
Recommending the that Nwachukwu should be banned from teaching disciplinary panel chair Kathy Thompson said: "The Panel is satisfied that Mrs Nwachukwu was aware from her involvement in the events in May 2011 there may have been inappropriate physical contact between Child A and Mr B, conduct which Mrs Nwachukwu should have, but failed to report to a responsible authority.
“The Panel accepts that Mrs Nwachukwu might not have been aware of the full extent of the serious nature of Mr B's conduct.
"However, this case serves as a good example of why it is important for all issues relevant to the safeguarding of children to be reported in a timely manner to the relevant authorities for an investigation to take place."
She added: "Child A's mother had gone to Mrs Nwachukwu for advice and help. In her response Mrs Nwachukwu failed to have regard to her safeguarding and child protection responsibilities. The Panel therefore find that Mrs Nwachukwu did not make Child A's safety and welfare a priority.
By telling Child A not to tell the police the truth about the sexual assault by Mr B, Mrs Nwachukwu committed a serious error of judgment."
Giving the final decision on behalf of the Secretary of State, the National College for Teaching and Leadership deputy director Alan Meyrick said: "The actions and the omissions set out in this case and which have led to this finding are serious ones and Mrs Assumpta Nwachukwu’s behaviour falls seriously short of that expected of a teacher.
"In particular this conduct was centred around the issue of the welfare of children. The conduct found was serious and showed very poor judgment.
"In my judgment it is right that Mrs Nwachukwu should be prohibited from teaching. The public expect high standards of teachers especially in this area of behaviour."
Nwachukwu is barred from applying to be restored to the profession until 2018 and if she does, she will have to persuade a panel she is fit to return to the classroom.
She has taught in England for 26 years and joined Woodside High in January 2005.
Comments are closed on this article.