December 2019

Teacher kicked out of the profession

A married headteacher, 59, awarded an MBE for services to education has been kicked out of the profession after pleasuring himself in front of a horrified schoolboy

The married headmaster has been struck off for pleasuring himself in front of a pupil who he lured into bed.

Jonathan Ullmer, 59, also ‘begged’ the schoolboy to touch his penis and massage him with lubricant.

He preyed on the teenager during his time at the Cecil Jones High School on Southend-on-Sea, Essex, where he worked from 1989 to 2002.

Grooming the schoolboy, he suggested the two of them discuss sex and go out for boozy meals to become closer, a teaching tribunal heard.

Ullmer even took the ‘vulnerable boy’ to his Kent flat where the pair shared a bed and the sick teacher started masturbating.

He would reward the boy with special privileges such as giving him the keys to his office and allowing him to drive his care.

Ullmer denied the claims, but the professional conduct panel found against him and blacklisted the teacher – who was awarded an MBE for services to education – from classrooms.

The victim, referred to only as Pupil A, said in a statement: ‘Eventually he would take all his clothes off and lie on the floor. He also brought out oil for me to massage him with.’

The teacher later slept in the same bed with the pupil and they had a play fight with Ullmer hitting the boy’s bottom with a shoe horn, the tribunal heard.

Ullmer left the school in the early 2000 and went on to teach abroad in the far east, later becoming a headmaster.

Jean Carter, Teaching Regulation Agency panel chair said: ‘The panel noted that Pupil A described that when he was of school age, Mr Ullmer had begged him to touch his penis as part of a dare.’

The teacher preyed on the teenage boy during his time at the Cecil Jones High School on Southend-on-Sea, Essex, from 1989 to 2002

Quoting the boy, she continued: ‘Then for a few seconds I did.’

Ms Carter said; ‘Explicitly in his oral evidence, Pupil A explained in graphic detail what happened, and described and re-enacted…describing his reaction at the time as, “horrified” and said to the panel that “something clicked” and he realised “this was a dangerous path to go down”.

‘The panel formed the view that his behaviour would be considered by the “ordinary intelligent citizen” as being incompatible with being a teacher.

‘Moreover, the panel recognised the long term and serious consequences for Pupil A as a result of Mr Ullmer’s behaviour that has only come to the fore some 20 or so years later.

‘The panel was satisfied that the conduct of the teacher amounted to misconduct of a serious nature which fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession.

‘Accordingly, the panel was satisfied that the teacher was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

‘The panel was told that the teacher did have a previously good history and some 30 years of experience in schools both in England and abroad, became a headteacher of more than one school, and received an MBE for his services to education.

‘The panel took account of its own understanding and experience of the teaching standards in the 1990s, as well the prevailing culture of that era.

‘The panel considered that making inappropriate comments to pupils of a personal nature, spending time with a pupil outside school in the context of allowing a pupil to stay over at the home of teacher, share a bed with a teacher as well as engage in sexual activity with a pupil, would, in the panel’s view, never be appropriate in any era.

‘Mr Ullmer had abused his position of trust and taken advantage of a vulnerable pupil who Mr Ullmer knew came from a turbulent family background.’

The panel found Ullmer had given lifts to the pupil and permitted him drive his car and made inappropriate comments by asking that visits to his home were kept quiet.

They also found he had shared a bed with the boy and masturbated in front of the boy.

Ullmer was also accused of spanking the boy with a shoehorn, but this allegation was not found proven.

Alan Meyrick, representing the Secretary of State for Education said: ‘I have considered whether allowing for no review period reflects the seriousness of the findings and is proportionate to achieve the aim of maintaining public confidence in the profession.

‘In this case, the factors that mean a no review period is proportionate are, the sexual misconduct found, the lack of either insight or remorse, and the long term and serious consequences on Pupil A.’

Ullmer was banned from teaching indefinitely.