A former teacher who sent “sexually motivated” messages to a pupil has been banned from teaching for life.

Gary Crossley taught at Thomas Clarkson Academy in Wisbech from July 2013 until January 2020 following an investigation into his behaviour.

Some of the allegations brought against Mr Crossley at a Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) disciplinary hearing included repeatedly sending a female pupil on WhatsApp “inappropriate or sexually motivated messages”.

The TRA found these messages were about the pupil’s personal relationships and his own romantic relationships.

Mr Crossley was found to have sent a message which included a line about her underwear in response to a former pupil’s comment that it was pouring with rain.

At the disciplinary hearing, Mr Crossley admitted to the allegations brought against him.

The TRA panel found that Mr Crossley had fallen “seriously short” of the standards expected of teachers, and that it was “both appropriate and proportionate” to ban him.

The panel said they were satisfied that Mr Crossley was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct which was “sexually motivated and could bring the teaching profession into disrepute”.

They said that Mr Crossley was “incredibly sorry and felt ashamed of his actions”.

But the panel added that “Mr Crossley’s statement did not show any meaningful insight or reflection on his actions”.

The TRA said a review into the ban, which could be lifted after a set period of time, was not appropriate.

“The panel decided that the findings indicated a situation in which a review period would not be appropriate,” said the panel.

“And, as such, decided that it would be proportionate in all the circumstances for the prohibition order to be recommended without provisions for a review period.”

Sarah Buxey, decision maker at the TRA, believes that imposing a lifetime ban on Mr Crossley was in the public interest.

She said: “In my judgement, the lack of full insight means that there is some risk of the repetition of this behaviour and this puts at risk the future wellbeing of pupils.”

Richard Scott, principal at Thomas Clarkson Academy, said the school supports the TRA's decision to ban Mr Crossley.

"When Mr Crossley’s inappropriate behaviour was first brought to our attention, we suspended him immediately and started an investigation," said Mr Scott.

"Mr Crossley was formally dismissed in January 2020, the day after an internal disciplinary hearing took place at our academy."

Mr Scott added that safeguarding and student welfare is "our highest priority" and that background checks are carried out for all staff members.

“We worked closely with the local authority and police in this case and hope that this decision brings some closure for those involved," Mr Scott said.

"His behaviour was inexcusable and the lifetime ban was the appropriate course of action.”