A SCIENCE teacher lied so he could meet a pupil without others knowing - but he has escaped a teaching ban.

Former Varndean School employee Richard Adams emailed a girl’s form tutor in July 2018 falsely suggesting another member of staff wanted to meet her, a Teaching Regulation Agency panel found.

The Brighton teacher then met the pupil, named as Pupil A, in a classroom and suggested they meet again the following week to say “final goodbyes”.

Mr Adams also wrote an unsent email pretending to be a parent raising concerns about another member of staff, the panel was told.

The science teacher was dismissed in August 2018 after Pupil A’s mother wrote a letter making allegations against him.

But panellists decided against a teaching ban despite declaring he was guilty of “serious misconduct”.

The Argus: Varndean School dismissed Mr Adams in August 2018Varndean School dismissed Mr Adams in August 2018

“The panel accepted that Mr Adams had made ill-judged mistakes and appreciated that he had attempted to do the ‘right thing’, but had gone about it in the wrong manner,” lead panellist Paul Hawkins said.

Panellists found multiple allegations made against Mr Adams were unproven.

These included claims he prevented Pupil A from leaving the classroom by holding the door handle and claims he hugged her.

The panel said it was unable to rely much on the girl’s evidence as the school had not interviewed her to establish what happened in the classroom.

A witness told the panel the school was more focused on the misleading emails Mr Adams had written.

“The panel felt this significantly curtailed the extent to which it could rely on Pupil A’s written evidence, as her evidence had not been tested,” lead panellist Mr Hawkins said.

The Argus: A witness told the panel the school's investigations focused on the misleading emails Mr Adams had sentA witness told the panel the school's investigations focused on the misleading emails Mr Adams had sent

Pupil A provided a witness statement but did not attend the hearing.

Mr Adams denied preventing the girl from leaving the room and denied hugging her. He said he was “taken aback” at the allegations.

A Varndean spokesman said Mr Adams was suspended as soon as it was made aware of the allegations.

“An investigation was immediately launched, and as a result Mr Adams was dismissed in August 2018,” he said.

“No concerns about Mr Adams’ behaviour had been raised prior to what occurred.

“Varndean has robust safeguarding procedures and will continue to investigate all concerns that are raised with us and take further action where necessary. Any students or parents who have concerns as a result of this case should contact the school as soon as possible.”