A TEACHER who worked at Deer Park School for two decades has been permanently banned from the profession for sexually assaulting pupils at another school.

PE teacher Paul Christensen joined the Cirencester secondary in 1984 before retiring in 2004.

This week the Standard can reveal that a Teaching Regulation Agency conduct panel ruled that Mr Christensen sexually assaulted two young male students who attended what was Churchdown School which is now Churchdown School Academy near Gloucester.

There is no suggestion of improper behaviour during his time at Deer Park.

In a ruling published last month, the panel found that the offences took place between 1978 and 1985.

Mr Christensen knew the pupils as he worked at Churchdown School from 1977 to 1984.

Nine allegations put to the panel

The 72-year-old denied the allegations but the panel found that he had touched the two boys inappropriately and also coerced them into touching him.

Nine allegations were put to the panel, five of which were proved while the others were not proved.

The panel concluded that Mr Christensen’s conduct was sexually motivated and he failed to observe professional boundaries and safeguard pupils wellbeing.

A spokesperson from the Corinium Education Trust which runs Deer Park told the Standard it 'abhorred' Mr Christensen's behaviour and will help police with any inquiries.

The hearing was told Mr Christensen touched the genitals of a boy referred to as Pupil C at the end of an after-school class at Churchdown in late 1979 or early 1980.

Pupil C stated he ended up alone with Mr Christensen while he waited for his parents.

"I was so embarrassed about this assault on me by Mr Christensen", he told the panel.

Meanwhile, the hearing was told another boy, known as Pupil A, was sexually assaulted by Mr Christensen during a visit to London in the mid 1980s.

Pupil A stated Mr Christensen gave him wine before assaulting him on a sofa.

"I was very drunk at this point... he told me to undo myself," Pupil A told the panel.

The panel was told, weeks later, Pupil A was also sexually assaulted by Mr Christensen.

Both incidents were denied by Mr Christensen, however the allegations were proved by the panel.

Paul Christensen worked at Deer Park School for 20 years from 1984 to 2004 (Image: Google Maps)

Timeline of allegations

In 2005, Pupil C made a complaint to the police about inappropriate behaviour by Mr Christensen from 1978 to 1980.

At the time, police launched an investigation but it was eventually closed due to "no supporting evidence".

In 2017, a separate complaint was made to police by Pupil A who alleged he was the victim of inappropriate behaviour by Mr Christensen from 1982 to 1985.

Mr Christensen was then interviewed as part of a police investigation in July 2018 but the case was eventually "closed with no further action".

He was then referred to the teaching misconduct panel in 2020.

Mr Christensen attended the hearing from February 5 to 8, as well as on April 15 but was not represented.

He denied all the allegations but accepted he met Pupil A alone outside of school.

Christensen banned from teaching 

The panel made a recommendation to the Secretary of State that a banning order without review should be imposed with immediate effect.

The panel's report reads: "Mr Christensen's actions, as found proved, were fundamentally incompatible with his being a teacher, whether or not he intended to return to teaching.

"This was conduct of the most serious kind involving an abuse of trust and physical abuse of pupils.

"Whilst Mr Christensen had no intention of returning to teaching, the panel did not accept this meant he presented no continuing risk.

Mr Christensen worked at Churchdown School from 1977 to 1984 (Image: Google Maps)

"Not least, at the age of 72, it was theoretically possible that Mr Christensen could engage in teaching, even if that appeared unlikely."

Speaking in his decision, Marc Cavey from the Teaching Regulation Agency said: "The panel finds that the conduct of Mr Christensen fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession, both at the time that it occurred and now.

"The findings of misconduct are particularly serious as they include a finding of sexually motivated behaviour towards school pupils.

"I consider therefore that allowing for no review period is necessary to maintain public confidence and is proportionate and in the public interest.

"This means that Mr Paul Christensen is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children's home in England.

"In view of the seriousness of the allegations found proved against him, I have decided that Mr Christensen shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach."

Trust "abhors such behaviour"

A spokesperson from the Corinium Education Trust said: "The trust has been made aware of a report recording the barring of a former teacher from teaching on the grounds of professional misconduct during the time of his employment at another secondary school in Gloucestershire between 1977-1984.

"The trust is aware that the teacher was subsequently employed to work at Cirencester Deer Park School between 1984 to 2004.

"Where requested to do so, the trust will assist so far as it is able in connection with any inquiries that may arise in connection with the former teacher's employment at Deer Park.

"The trust abhors all such behaviour and places safeguarding very much at the centre of its operations."

Police "reviewing evidence"

Gloucestershire Police say they are currently reviewing evidence within the teaching panel report.

A police spokesperson said: "A file of evidence was submitted to the CPS in 2019 and it was deemed that no further action would be taken as there was insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.

"We will review what is contained within the professional conduct panel report to determine whether it changes that decision."

Churchdown School Academy was approached for comment.

The full report is available here - tinyurl.com/ysuhypwj