Teacher banned by panel after sexual abuse of pupils

Entrance to school with blue gates
Paul Christensen worked at Churchdown School between 1977 and 1984 [Google Maps]

A man has been permanently banned from teaching after a professional conduct panel (PCP) concluded that he sexually abused two pupils.

Paul Christensen, 72, was a teacher at Churchdown School Academy, Gloucestershire, between 1977-1984, the Teaching Regulation Agency panel was told.

The former PE teacher denied the allegations but the panel concluded that he had touched two young boys and coerced them to touch him.

Churchdown School Academy has been approached for comment.

'So embarrassed'

The panel was told Mr Christensen touched the genitals of one boy, referred to as Pupil C, at the end of a class while he waited for his parents to pick him up.

Pupil C told the panel that he felt "so embarrassed about the assault".

The hearing was told another boy, referred to as Pupil A, was taken to London by Christensen, where the teacher gave him red 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.

"Christensen leaned over to look at me and he said something to the effect of 'you’re not going fast enough'. It’s alright, I’m doing it too'."

Weeks later, he assaulted Pupil A in his own home, the panel was told.

'Unacceptable conduct'

A panel report stated: "Pupil A and Pupil C both described sexual encounters with Mr Christensen, at different times, entirely independently of each other.

"The fact that there were clear differences between the sexual elements to their evidence rendered their accounts more believable.

"Christensen’s conduct in relation to these allegations amounted to both unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute."

In 2005, Pupil C made a complaint to the police regarding allegedly inappropriate behaviour by Christensen from 1978 to 1980, when he was a pupil at the school.

Police investigated but the case was "closed on the basis that no supporting evidence".

Two years later, a separate complaint was made to police by Pupil A. This was investigated but in 2019 the case was "closed with no further action".

Christensen was referred to the professional misconduct panel in 2020.

Police to review case

A Gloucestershire Police spokesperson said: “A file of evidence was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service 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.”

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