A teacher who was dismissed from his job at St John's Beaumont Preparatory School in Old Windsor for gross misconduct has avoided being banned from the profession.

Doctor Andrew Plant appeared last month before a professional conduct panel of the Teaching Regulation Agency accused of 'unacceptable professional conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute' while teaching at the Roman Catholic school in Priest Hill.

The panel heard that a pupil's mother had complained in March, 2013 that Doctor Plant had come up behind him while he was changing for games and tickled him 'underneath the ribs with both hands on each side just above the hips'.

He was subsequently warned by headteacher Giles Delaney that a repeat of such actions would 'give cause for concern'.

Staff at the school subsequently complained that they had witnessed Doctor Plant 'engaging in activities with pupils that caused them concern' in the dormitory - he was subsequently barred from being a member of the school's boarding department or teaching pupils alone unsupervised.

He was later dismissed in July, 2018 for gross misconduct after it transpired he had been tutoring pupils privately and unsupervised - contrary to school rules.

The panel found the accusations against Doctor Plant proved. But after receiving written testimonials from parents and colleagues praising his contribution to the school choir and the music department they recommended that he should not be banned from teaching.

They stated in the report that 'this case falls into the category of cases where as an exceptional teacher there is a public interest in allowing Doctor Plant to continue in the profession'.

The recommendation was accepted by Department of Education adjudicator Dawn Dandy whose report stated: 'While I recognise the serious nature of the misconduct found .... I am of the view that it is not necessary to impose a prohibition order'.