Former Bradford teacher Philip Baker broke the standards

image caption, Philip Baker was a history teacher at Beckfoot Thornton School for 19 years

A history teacher who asked a student to call him because she needed to “cheer up” behaved “inappropriately”, a misconduct commission has found.

Philip Baker tried to call the student five times when she ignored his request to call in July 2022, the hearing was told.

Mr Baker, who was a history teacher at Beckfoot Thornton School in Bradford, was retiring from the profession the same month.

The panel concluded that while his actions were not “malicious”, his behavior was an “erosion of boundaries”.

The written findings of the hearing described how two of Baker’s students made him a TikTok video as a retirement gift.

The history teacher, who had worked at the high school since 2003, was said to later ask students if they could make a TikTok video of his dog and gave them his personal phone number so they could link to it.

After initially texting one of the students to ask them to message the other about the video, Mr Baker was said to have sent him “a text saying ‘could do with a call to approach (sic) to rejoicing”.

When she asked why, he replied, “If you want to know, call me now.”

The student was said to have felt “embarrassed” to call him and as a result replied: “I can’t call the microphone is broken”.

“Not Malicious”

It is alleged that the teacher then tried to call her five times, although she did not answer.

In an email explaining his actions, Mr. Baker said he had “already left the school” and believed students were worried they wouldn’t be able to give him the retirement gift.

He said he called the student to suggest he give the gift to a third person, adding: “I found it easier to call than to text as I could hardly read my screen.”

The panel found that while Mr Baker’s reasons for contacting the students were “certainly initially” genuine, his actions breached professional standards.

It was said to be an “isolated episode” in an otherwise “unblemished” career and took into account the fact that he was in the process of retiring.

The commission further concluded that his actions were “although grossly inappropriate, not malicious”, adding: “This was not malicious conduct but an erosion of boundaries.”

Mr Baker did not attend the hearing, telling his representatives he was “not bothered” by the findings as he “will never work in any capacity again”.

The panel took no further action against him, saying an order banning re-surrender was not in the public interest.

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