A TEACHER who had sex with a pupil and kissed another while employed at a Southampton school has been banned from the teaching profession.

James Cocks, now 33, had a three-month sexual relationship with the girl who he had met while working as a newly qualified teacher at Regents Park Community College.

The inappropriate relationship began in Summer 2009 when the pair started talking over social media after the girl had finished her final exams.

Cocks also kissed another pupil at the school, though it was not revealed when this incident took place.

Now Cocks, who originally denied the incidents to police, has been banned from teaching indefinitely after a tribunal found he had committed unacceptable professional conduct.

The tribunal heard how between 2008 and 2012, Cocks was employed as a music teacher at Regents Park Community College.

Daily Echo:

The Teaching Regulation Agency was told that in 2018, an allegation was made by a girl - given the name Pupil A - that she had been involved in a sexual relationship with the teacher in the summer of 2009.

The tribunal heard the relationship took place when Cocks was 23 and a newly qualified teacher, and after she had finished her final exam.

Messages exchanged between the pair showed Cocks had reassured Pupil A after she became concerned about not having used contraceptives.

The tribunal also heard that Cocks faced a further complaint that he had kissed another girl - given the name Pupil C - while at the school.

The girl had left the school at the time of the incident.

Cocks was arrested and interviewed under caution by police.

Panel chair Brian Hawkins said: "A police investigation took place and on July 9 2018, Mr Cocks was arrested and interviewed under caution.

"It is alleged that during this interview Mr Cocks lied in that he told the police that he had not had a relationship with Pupil A and had not kissed Pupil C."

But the tribunal heard that Cocks later admitted he had been dishonest with police and confessed to the panel that he had entered into a sexual relationship with Pupil A and had kissed Pupil C.

He said his denials "lacked integrity".

Cocks, who was Director of Music at the Varndean School in Brighton until his resignation in January last year, said he was "worried about the consequences" of his career and on his marriage.

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He admitted unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.

Mr Hawkins said: "Mr Cocks had a duty to maintain professional boundaries regardless of whether Pupil A was a current or recent pupil.

"The panel noted that the relationship was consensual but given the imbalance in age and power the panel considered that having a sexual relationship with a current or recent pupil is a gross transgression of appropriate professional boundaries and an abuse of a position of trust.

"This is particularly the case when dealing with a formal police investigation. Mr Cocks did not do so and this is a serious matter which the panel considered is likely to impact adversely on the reputation of the profession."

Cocks was banned from the teaching profession indefinitely.