Hypnotist teacher struck off for ‘abuse’

The government agency responsible for disciplining teachers has heard 14 cases relating to sexual misconduct since April 1, all resulting in prohibition orders, Schools Week can reveal.

In one of the most recent cases, the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) banned a teacher in a West Sussex school after it was discovered he had hypnotised and sexually abused a pupil at a South African school in the 1980s.

A report of the hearing, which took place on September 18, states that Stephen Pieter Grobbelaar hypnotised a 16-year-old boy when he was working as an English teacher at Grey High School in Port Elizabeth in 1987.

He left the school in 1990 and has been working in England. The name of the school has not been released.

It says that when the 16-year-old South African complainant, referred to as “Pupil A”, became concerned about his performance in maths, Mr Grobbelaar invited him to a room, alone, that evening.

The report said: “He told Pupil A that the solution was hypnosis to implant the suggestion that he enjoyed mathematics. He hypnotised Pupil A.”

He then sexually abused the boy.

It added that he hypnotised the boy a week later to prevent him from remembering what had happened.

The boy later remembered what had happened and told his school, but the report states it is “unclear” what action was taken other than Mr Grobbelaar, who is now 53, left.

Last August, Pupil A found out that he was teaching at an English school and reported what had happened.

Mr Grobbelaar resigned.

The NCTL panel’s recommendations said he had breached a position of trust in “a deliberate and carefully planned manner, including an attempt at concealment”.

It added: “The panel is also persuaded from his employment record and references over the past 22 years that he is an excellent and inspirational teacher.

“The panel believes the risk of repetition of the behaviour is low.”

Mr Grobbelaar admitted all the facts and was banned from teaching indefinitely in any school, sixth-form college, youth accommodation or children’s home.

A Department for Education (DfE) spokesperson said: “All schools must carry out comprehensive criminal records checks on all applicants – including those who have lived or worked outside of the UK.

“Employers should also carry out checks with overseas employers before allowing an individual to work in a school.”

DfE guidance, “Keeping Children Safe in Education” can be downloaded

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