Former teacher at Mirfield school became obsessed with teenage pupil

INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR Yvonne Preston taught at Mirfield's Castle Hall Academy.
INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR Yvonne Preston taught at Mirfield's Castle Hall Academy.

A woman who taught at a Mirfield school has been banned from teaching after becoming obsessed with a male teenage pupil.

Former Castle Hall Academy teacher Yvonne Preston lavished the student with gifts and love notes, a tribunal heard this month.

A National College for Teaching and Leadership panel heard how Mrs Preston, 49, gave gifts to the pupil including a Hollister brand t-shirt, a DVD box set and a concert ticket to see Kendrick Lamar in Leeds.

She gave him a personalised mug and calendar, each of which included her home address and photos from the school, and sent text messages and cards confessing her love for him.

One card read: “Sending my love and best wishes to someone who has touched my heart and mind in a most unexpected way... You light up my world like nobody else”.

Another read: “My only wish is that next Christmas you are still in my life in some way, shape or form. You mean far too much to me than you should – but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am, always and forever – Yours xx”.

In another card, the married teacher wrote:

“I have loved having you in my life; I’ve loved spoiling you...

“The thought of not seeing you, talking to you + just being with you breaks my heart – so I’m asking...

“don’t go... don’t leave... please stay... with me! I have love you so... enjoy this on me + remember me fondly my love, Yvonne x”

Other inappropriate activities, all of which took place between December 2011 and May 2013, included calling the pupil into a stock cupboard to discuss a tweet he had sent, keeping photos of him on her work laptop and asking him to dance with her in front of his class at his end-of-year prom.

The panel took into account mitigation that Mrs Preston suggested she was suffering from mental health problems at the time and had given various reasons for her actions.

It said that the behaviour only related to one student and she had a good history.

The panel decided Mrs Preston should be banned from teaching indefinitely and could not teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.

She may apply for the Prohibition Order to be set aside, but not until 16 July 2016 at the earliest.

Castle Hall Academy headteacher Andy Pugh said: “When this matter was brought to me this time last year, I decided that we should make a referral.

“The information we provided was thorough, but we had no influence in the decision. The matter has now been dealt with.”