A FORMER Southend teacher could be banned from the classroom after being convicted of having a sexual relationship with a pupil in a “clear breach” of his position of trust.

Earlier this week, a teacher tribunal hearing discussed if Jay Plucknett should be struck off after he was convicted of sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust.

Plucknett was previously avoided jail for the offences, which took place while he worked in a school in the Southend area.

Chairman Alan Wells told the Teaching Regulation Agency panel: “Mr Plucknett initiated physical contact, hugging her, kissing her on the forehead, and placing his hand on their thigh.”

When the student left school, the pair exchanged phone numbers and entered a consensual sexual relationship.

Mr Wells said: “They met on a weekly basis in Mr Plucknett’s home and car to engage in sexual activity.

“But some of those actions, including kissing and touching, were carried out on school grounds.

“This is a clear breach of his position of trust as a teacher. It is likely to have had an impact on the safety of pupils and members of the public.”

Plucknett previously admitted he had known the student since she was 15 and he was 32 years old.

Summing up, Mr Wells added: “This is a particularly serious offence, prolonged over a significant period of time. If he were allowed to continue teaching, it would impact public perception of the profession.”

The panel will decide to recommend to the Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, whether she should issue a “prohibition order” against Plucknett, banning him from teaching. The outcome of the hearing, which Plucknett did not attend, will be published in the coming weeks.

In 2022, Southend Crown Court heard the child received “special treatment” from Plucknett, of Victoria Road, Laindon. 

Plucknett admitted sexual activity with a child by a person in a position of trust and the court heard there were at least five incidents of sexual touching, including kissing. 

Judge Shane Collery ordered Plucknett to complete 55 rehabilitation activity days, and 140 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to inform the police of any changes to his personal situation for ten years.