It seems to be a day of striking off teachers on the agenda today. This one comes from the Mail.
A teacher who was found half-naked in a lay-by with one of her teenage pupils has been struck off for two years. Eppie Sprung Dawson, 27, admitted having sex with Matthew Robinson – who was 17 at the time of the offence – and was found ‘unfit to teach’ by a disciplinary panel.
Although the English teacher was placed on the sex offenders’ register after admitting her wrongdoing in court and has now been banned indefinitely from her profession, she can apply to be reinstated to the teaching register in two years.
Last night, the teenager’s mother said Sprung Dawson had been given little more than a ‘slap on the wrist, not a punishment’. Sheree Robinson, 44, added: ‘If she is potentially allowed to go back to teaching after two years, what is to stop her from doing something like this again? She should not be allowed to teach again, in my family’s view. I think this comes back to double standards and you have to wonder if she were a male teacher whether the door would be left open for her to teach again. She should not be allowed to teach children of any age ever again as she clearly has problems which caused what happened with my son.’
Sprung Dawson was just four years into her career when she seduced the dyslexic teenager after offering extra help with his lessons. They were caught having sex in the front seat of her car in a lay-by after she had driven the boy out to the countryside from a school dance that they had both attended.
A passing police patrol spotted condensation on the car windows, and when officers approached they saw Sprung Dawson and the boy naked from the waist down. The teacher lost her job at the Catholic St Joseph’s College in Dumfries, southern Scotland. Her three-year marriage to her lecturer husband Ranald – the 32-year-old son of the former Solicitor General for Scotland Lord Dawson – also ended.
Mr Robinson, now 18, has since moved out of his family’s farmhouse in Dumfries and in to the shamed teacher’s marital home in the Scottish market town. Studying joinery, he has told his mother and father, Jonathan, 45, that he is just friends with his former teacher.
The Robinsons have previously accused Sprung Dawson of ‘buying’ their son with gifts such as Xbox computer games and rugby shirts. They told the Daily Mail in September that they believed the couple had been having sex for up to four months before they were caught. Mrs Robinson said she did not believe her son’s claim that he was no longer sleeping with his former teacher.
Sprung Dawson, who is now said to be working in a bar, was struck off by the General Teaching Council For Scotland (GTCS) in Edinburgh. She was not present at the hearing, but in a statement read to the GTCS panel, she agreed to being struck off and admitted having sex with Mr Robinson four days before Christmas last year.
When a teacher appears before the GTCS, it can either take no action, issue a reprimand, grant conditional registration or remove the teacher from the register. In removal cases such as this, teachers can be banned from applying for reinstatement for a maximum of two years. A source familiar with the process said it was ‘rare’ for a teacher to apply for reinstatement, and suggested that Sprung Dawson would struggle to have her ban overturned because of the sexual nature of the case.
The Scottish Government will now decide whether to put her on a list excluding her from working with children or vulnerable adults. Sprung Dawson pleaded guilty in July to sexual activity with a person under 18 while she was in a position of trust as his teacher. She was spared jail after Dumfries Sheriff Court heard how she had been abused as a teenager by a man 29 years her senior.She was told to complete a course of psychosexual counselling as part of a six-month community payback order, and placed on the sex offenders’ register for the same period. Mr Robinson is understood to be one of a string of young lodgers who have stayed at Sprung Dawson’s home.
OK so am I reading this right? A teacher has sex with a pupil in a car in Scotland, gets struck off for two years maximum? I agree with the teenager’s mum, that is nothing more than a slap on the wrist. If they can return to the profession in two years time they’ll probably do it again. I hope the government permanently exclude this woman from working with children and vulnerable adults, and anyone else who thinks they’re getting away with such acts. It’s about time we started to be tougher on these people.