United Kingdom

German teacher who upset a Year 8 pupil as he quoted a line from The Inbetweeners

A teacher who upset a pupil by quoting a line from TV comedy show The Inbetweeners has been cleared of misconduct. 

Newly qualified teacher Christopher Harper made a joke to Year 8 students in Kingsdown School in Swindon after hearing one pupil's mother was single. 

He responded, 'oo is she' after hearing the news. 

Mimicking a line from the teacher on the show played by Greg Davies, he added: 'If I marry your mum you can finally call me daddy,' a panel heard. 

The incident happened at Kingsdown School in Swindon 

The German teacher, who worked at the school between September 2017 and July 2019, told the hearing the comment had been intended as a joke and was made in reference to the Channel 4 show. 

He was dismissed from his role at the school and although a misconduct panel deemed the comment 'inappropriate', it concluded that no further sanctions were required. 

The report said the pupil had been upset given 'the personal and offensive nature of the comment which had been made at the pupil's expense and had been an inappropriate comment to make to any pupil.' 

The panel said the allegation was proven and said that the 'extremely naive' teacher had 'exercise poor judgement.'

But it deemed there was a public interest in retaining him in the profession because he was a good teacher, who was 'clearly remorseful and showed insight into his failings.' 

The line from the Channel 4 show The Inbetweeners caused a pupil to become upset 

The report also found that he had formed an 'inappropriate' relationship with another pupil, with whom he exchanged more than 2,500 emails - with Harper sending 898 of them. 

The emails were described as 'over familiar' but the panel found no evidence of 'malicious or inappropriate motivations'.

The report said the pupil had become 'infatuated' with him but the panel accepted he did not realise this and his intention was to help improve her German writing skills.

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