A TEACHER who sent “sexually motivated” messages on social media to a former student has been banned from the profession.

A professional conduct panel at the Teaching Regulation Agency heard that Adam McCullagh, messaged a former pupil, referred to as ‘Student 1’ while he was a teacher at Haydock High between August 21 and September 26, 2020.

Mr McCullagh admitted to sending messages to Student 1 via a personal Instagram account.

The panel heard that Student 1 said Mr McCullagh had begun messaging on Instagram on August 20, 2020, “wishing her the best for the future and told her that if she ever needed anything he was only around the corner”.

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In one Instagram message he wrote: “I’d say that I’d got out and celebrate with you but that might be a bit weird haha”. Another included: “I know one way I’d like to shut you up” and added: “I’ll stop my weird mood before I get myself sacked”.

Mr McCullagh, now 32, was also alleged to have sent messages to the student on Snapchat which included an “image of him with his hands down his pants”.

These included the text: “I’ll be round in 30 mins to join” and “I’m at yours now” and “I’ll give you the best 30 mins of your life”.

Mr McCullagh had denied sending the Snapchat messages but the panel ruled that “on the balance of probabilities, it was more likely than not” that he had.

Mr McCullagh was suspended from Haydock High in February 2021 after concerns were raised with the school and he resigned in June of that year.

St Helens Star: Mark McCullagh was a teacher at Haydock High, which has since become Outwood Academy HaydockMark McCullagh was a teacher at Haydock High, which has since become Outwood Academy Haydock (Image: Google Street View)

The police were also contacted over the matter and the CPS “returned the decision of no further action”, the hearing heard.

The hearing heard that the panel “was satisfied that the conduct of Mr McCullagh amounted to misconduct of a serious nature which fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession”.

The panel also considered that Mr McCullagh had “sought to minimise his conduct within the limited witness evidence that he had provided” and in his witness statement he stated that he was “simply offering her support in a stupid and clumsy way”.

It was noted “there was very limited evidence that Mr McCullagh had shown insight or remorse into his actions”.

Decision maker Marc Cavey stated that Mr McCullagh “is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.

“Furthermore, in view of the seriousness of the allegations found proved against him, I have decided that Mr McCullagh shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach”.