Married drunk teacher who said he would ‘f*** colleague’ banned from classroom

A drunk science teacher participated in a drinking game with sixth-formers at a school prom and groped a colleague’s breast, saying he would “f*** her in a heartbeat”, a disciplinary hearing was told.

Kershaw, now 40, admitted being under the influence of alcohol at the Ivybridge Community College prom in Devon in June 2018.

He also admitted taking in a drinking game with the teenage Year 13 pupils and that his behaviour had to be monitored by colleagues.

A Teaching Regulation Agency disciplinary panel heard Dr Kershaw was employed as a science teacher at the Devon school in September 2011.

He became Head of Year for the sixth form in 2019 but in June 2018 he went to the Year 13 prom at an external venue where he was drunk and assaulted his colleague and made the comment.

The following month, a pupil made a comment to a member of staff about the prom night and disclosed concerns over “an overfamiliar relationship between Dr Kerslake and a pupil”, saying the pupil had been given some jewellery by Kerslake.

Formal investigations began in late 2018 about his behaviour and he quit the school in September 2020.

Kershaw admitted being under the influence of alcohol at the school prom but said “my conduct was in the spirit of the prom” with both staff and students drinking.

But he said he allowed himself to be bought drinks by pupils at the bar and drinking rapidly with them “and I drank to a level that was inappropriate for a senior member of staff at a school prom”.

A witness said he was “displaying drunken behaviour including slurred speech, he was very giggly and laughing, his lack of control of body, for example, he was stumbling, grabbing onto things to stabilise himself and his pitch of voice was very loud”.

A witness said he was playing a “down the drinks game” with pupils where you had to “down it” if a penny was put into your drink.

He denied deliberately “groping” anyone but the sober witness said he slid his hand up, stopping at her breast.

But the panel found he did cup and groped her breast “holding and squeezing” it for up to four seconds and pupils saw what happened.

And the panel said he made the comment about “f***ing her in a heartbeat” loudly in front of pupils which made her feel uncomfortable.

Kershaw denied his conduct was sexually motivated but the panel ruled that the cupping of the breast and the comment about having sex with her were sexually motivated.

The panel said his conduct amounted to unacceptable professional conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute and he has been banned from the classroom for five years saying the sexual misconduct was at the lower end of the spectrum.

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