Drama teacher who had sex with schoolgirl on half term trip

This is the high school teacher who took a female pupil to see a West End show before having sex with her in a hotel.

Drama teacher Sarah Barton, 36, admitted taking the schoolgirl to see Matilda during the half term holiday and meeting her for sex in her car and fields during their relationship.

The married teacher, who worked a school in Essex, has been banned from teaching indefinitely by a teaching conduct panel which heard her case in June.

Mrs Barton repeatedly messaged the pupil over Whatsapp and had a picture of herself and the pupil kissing on her mobile phone

Other teachers had expressed concern over the amount of time Mrs Barton was spending with the girl in her office, the National College for Teaching and Leadership panel heard.

Mrs Barton, who had taught at the school since 2007 before becoming head of drama, also attended the pupil’s birthday, ate dinner at her house and met up with her in pubs and restaurants.

She resigned in July 2016 after the relationship, which began in the academic year starting September 2015.

Ruling that the teacher had committed unacceptable professional misconduct, the panel said: “Whilst there was no evidence that Mrs Barton’s actions began in any deliberate manner, in light of the length of time that the relationship developed and the emotional benefit gained by Mrs Barton, the panel had to conclude there was planning by her to some degree.

“There were numerous opportunities for the relationship to be terminated by her. This was a sexually motivated relationship that continued despite warnings from her colleagues. It was not a one-off spontaneous event.”

The Secretary of State ruled on July 16 she should be banned from teaching indefinitely and can seek a review of the decision in five years.

On behalf of the Secretary of State for Education, Alan Meyrick, of the NCTL, said: “In my view a five year review period is proportionate and in the public interest. I am therefore taking the decision to impose a prohibition order with a provision for an application to be made to set the order aside after a minimum of five years.

“This means that Sarah Barton is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.”