An ex-Darlington music teacher had an inappropriate relationship with a pupil 20 years ago, it has been found, but has been cleared of allegations he had sex with them.

Now-retired Mr Andrew Ramsey was a music teacher at Carmel School in Darlington, now Carmel College, between 1995 and 2001 when he had the relationship with the student.

In 2019 the pupil told police they had been sexually abused by Mr Ramsey while at the school until 2001.

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Officers took no further action after they withdrew their support from the police investigation, but an investigation by the Teaching Regulation Agency continued.

A misconduct panel concluded Mr Ramsey had an inappropriate relationship with the student, known as pupil A, but did not find allegations he had a sexual relationship with them proven.

It heard he bought the student stage make-up which their dad would have disapproved of. They also visited his home for rehearsals and were on one occasion pictured there wearing a “revealing” costume.

The panel said his actions constituted an inappropriate student-teacher relationship but not a sexual one.

The Northern Echo: Carmel College in DarlingtonCarmel College in Darlington (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

After leaving the Darlington school to teach in London, then-former Pupil A moved in with him while trying to find alternative accommodation. The arrangement was agreed with their father at the time.

The misconduct panel said Mr Ramsey was ‘overfamiliar’ with the student, and that he did have an inappropriate relationship, but said this was not sexually motivated.

He was cleared of allegations he kissed, and had sex with the pupil, with the panel saying there was no evidence he had engaged in a sexual relationship.

The Northern Echo: Headteacher Andrew Ramsey.Headteacher Andrew Ramsey.

The claims, made by Pupil A, were categorically denied by the former teacher.

Mr Ramsey was found guilty of unacceptably professional conduct by the teacher misconduct panel.
The music teacher was later headteacher at St Michael’s Academy in Billingham.

While he was found to have acted in an unacceptable manner the panel decided he should not be banned from teaching.

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Witnesses described Mr Ramsey as the “consummate professional” and “dedicated practitioner”.The panel said banning him from the classroom would “deprive the public of his contribution to the profession.

It said: “Mr Ramsey did have a previously good history, having demonstrated exceptionally high standards in both his personal and professional conduct and having contributed significantly to the education sector.”

A spokesperson for the Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust, which Carmel College is part of, said: "Safeguarding is an essential aspect of all that we do and therefore we thank the Teacher Regulation Authority and Secretary of State for their thorough investigation into this matter, and welcome their findings. We also wish Mr. Ramsey well in his retirement."