Student’s mother defends teacher who slept with child behind girlfriend’s back

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Ross Spittal was living with partner Kim Smyth while he slept with a sixth-former, only for the teacher’s girlfriend to find over 800 emails between the two.

Ross Spittal started a romantic relationship with the 18-year-old student in 2019

A mother has argued that a teacher should not be fired after sleeping with her child.

Ross Spittal has admitted to having sex with the sixth elder on at least two occasions at his home in 2019 while working as a maths teacher at Inveralmond High School in West Lothian.

The 32-year-old was living with his partner at the time, Kim Smyth, 33, who found more than 800 emails between the two on a computer.

Spittal, from Bishopton, Renfrewshire, has been suspended from his job after his relationship with the 18-year-old student came to light.

He’s been fighting to stay on the teacher’s register ever since, arguing he’s still fit to be in class.







Spittal had fought to stay on the teachers’ register
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Picture:

Deadline News)


Today it was revealed that the pupil’s mother has come to his rescue, arguing that he should be able to continue teaching and that he has a stable relationship with her child.

In testimony to the General Teaching Council for Scotland panel, she wrote: “He demonstrated credibility in his role and professionalism at all times.

“His encouragement made the students believe in themselves.”

She added: “She has no concerns about Mr Spittal’s teacher-student relationship with Person A and sees them in a stable relationship and has been integrated into their family life.”

Despite the mother’s intervention and after a four-day hearing, the education regulator decided that Spittal would be removed from the register.

Panel chair Alison Reid said: “With respect to stage 2 teaching ability, the panel’s findings are that the teacher has not met the standards expected of a registered teacher and that he is therefore unfit to teach.

“Section 18.2b of the Public Services Reform Order means the committee must order the teacher to be removed from the register.”

The panel heard how Spittal first kissed the teenager when she stayed behind to help put away the iPads in her classroom in April 2019.

Emails showed that Spittal emailed Student A at 10:20 p.m. one evening in May 2019 asking if she was having “relaxing and fun times”.

He then asked her to: “Talk to me if you are”.







Inveralmond Community High School in West Lothian
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Picture:

Deadline News)


He was reported at school by his then-girlfriend, Kim Smyth, who found emails, including nude images, between the two on their shared computer.

On Monday, Spittal confirmed he was still in a relationship with the former student but admitted his behavior in 2019 was “totally inappropriate”.

He said he was “ashamed” of his actions but believes he still has a lot to offer teaching.

Spittal, now a delivery courier, said: “I think about it every day as I sit in my van thinking about where I might be if I hadn’t made stupid mistakes.

“I made decisions and choices that I made in a period of five to six weeks that I feel ashamed and ashamed of.

“I use a traffic light system. Stop, think and act.

“I stop and process what’s going on around me, then think and weigh my options before making my choice.

“My professionalism has been established, it will not happen again, I admit all allegations.”

Ahead of the decision, presenting officer Sarah Donnachie said: “Mr Spitall did not act honestly at Inveralmond, he knew what he was doing was wrong and he tried to cover up his actions.

“Mr. Spittal showed no effective insight into his actions. He did not fully engage with his feelings and was not honest with himself in the events leading up to the kiss.”

She continued: “Mr Spittal knew what he was doing was wrong. He only revealed this to Inveralmond when his ex-partner found out about the relationship.

“He had been called back to professional respect twice before the kiss.”

Spitall’s legal adviser, Claire Rafferty, said her client had taken steps to ensure it didn’t happen again.

She said: “He has been in full recovery for two and a half years, showing a passion and commitment to teaching.

“I don’t know what else anyone could do to remedy the situation. I’m confident he would make the right decision in difficult circumstances.

“He has measures in place to ensure that if similar circumstances arise, he will not repeat his actions.

“His personality traits make it unlikely that there will be any repeat driving.”

Elizabeth Gibb, a licensed occupational psychologist who has worked with Spittal since June 2020, testified in favor of the teacher at the hearing.

She said: “I think he took responsibility for his actions before I met him.

“He scored lower than most adults on assertiveness.

“He’s basically nice and basically trustworthy and unlikely to use charm.

“He has now paid great attention to the way he has acted and he has asked for help.

“It’s very unlikely that he will break the rules in the future.”

Today, the panel concluded its investigation by issuing Spittal a remand order.

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