Teacher James Eaton banned after admitting making pupils put ice cubes in underwear

Romsey Abbey where James Eaton was assistant organist.

Romsey Abbey where James Eaton was assistant organist.

First published in News

A HAMPSHIRE teacher has been banned from the profession after admitting making pupils put ice cubes in their underwear as punishments whilst on a school trip.

A Department for Education panel found that James Eaton’s behaviour had fallen short of standards expected of a teacher.

The panel heard that Mr Eaton had admitted allowing a series of punishments or forfeits whilst on a residential trip which involved male students having cold showers in their underwear or swimming trunks and placing ice cubes in their underwear or under their arms.

He also told the boys to keep it a secret.

The panel heard evidence that he also used a video camera to film the students, encouraged them to take photos of each other and allowed them to perform an explicit song at a talent show.

Mr Eaton admitted contacting pupils via personal social networking sites and his personal email.

At the time Mr Eaton was employed at Petersfield School as head of music, but the panel also heard how he did not maintain appropriate boundaries whilst employed at Romsey Abbey as assistant organist and Director of Music.

Whilst in the post at the Abbey in 2009 he planned a trip to Bruges and Brussels in which he did not carry out a risk assessment to ensure that the adult to child ratios were correct.

But allegations he had been over-familiar with choirboys and had made arrangements to sleep with boys in a dormitory without other adults present were not proven.

Mr Eaton was not present at the hearing which banned him from the profession for unacceptable professional conduct and or conduct that would bring the profession into disrepute.

Mr Eaton has a right to appeal.

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