A TEACHER has been banned after he bought cigarettes for a pupil and met up with her on a beach.

James Parkhouse used his personal Instagram account to send “intimate” messages to the Bohunt School student, known as Pupil A, while he taught maths at the Worthing school.

The 26-year-old teacher first contacted the pupil in August 2018 and referred to a conversation from the classroom about the colour of Pupil A’s underwear, a Teaching Regulation Agency panel heard.

The teacher had twice been warned about his behaviour earlier that year.

In a series of messages Mr Parkhouse made comments about “liking and caring about” Pupil A.

The teacher urged Pupil A not to tell anyone about their conversations.

Then in September he met her on the beach to give her cigarettes he had bought for her.

But Mr Parkhouse was suspended by the school on October 1 after Pupil A and a second student named as Pupil B complained about the teacher.

“Pupil A stated she and Mr Parkhouse had messaged each other on Instagram and had met up out of school, and Mr Parkhouse had touched her lower back in a classroom,” the panel reported.

“Pupil B claimed Mr Parkhouse had touched her back at an open evening and had touched her hand in a classroom setting.”

The teacher was dismissed from Bohunt School on October 30, 2018.

Now he has been banned from teaching indefinitely after appearing at a Teaching Regulation Agency hearing.

Mr Parkhouse admitted contacting Pupil A through Instagram and buying her cigarettes.

But he denied inappropriately touching the two girls.

The panel found those allegations were not proved.

But it said Mr Parkhouse’s messages to Pupil A were “inappropriate, over-familiar, and personal in nature.”

“The pupils involved were left feeling uncomfortable as a result of his behaviour,” the report read.

The panel did not recommend banning Mr Parkhouse from teaching because it did not believe his behaviour was serious enough.

“Mr Parkhouse did have a previous good history, as acknowledged by the headteacher of the school,” the panel found.

“The panel also found Mr Parkhouse to be genuinely remorseful.

Despite the panel’s findings, Teaching Regulation Agency official Alan Meyrick gave Mr Parkhouse an indefinite teaching ban.

“He spoke with the pupil about intimate matters and also asked the pupil to, in effect, cover up the conversation,” Mr Meyrick said.

“The panel has failed to give sufficient weight to the inappropriate, over-familiar and personal-in-nature messages.”

A Bohunt School spokesman said it fully supported the ban.

“As soon as we became aware of the situation, we took immediate action to suspend the member of staff, who was shortly after dismissed following an internal investigation,” he said.

“We are clear the actions of this individual were unacceptable and opposed to the high standards we uphold.

“The safety and wellbeing of all our students is our number one priority.”