Steiner School exclusive: What was the Denis McCarthy case?

Earlier this year a former RSSKL teacher appeared before a professional conduct panel for a hearing which saw him handed an indefinite ban from teaching.

Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 4:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 6:13 pm
Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley

A number of allegations were made against Mr McCarthy, relating to six different students, which went back almost a decade.

The hearing was not a legal trial.

Mr McCarthy admitted some of the allegations, while denying others. He denied that his conduct was inappropriate or sexually motivated.

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headshot of former RSSKL teacher Dennis McCarthy, taken from the school's homepage

Allegations which were found proved by the panel included that Mr McCarthy allowed or encouraged various students to sit on his lap, that he approached one student from behind and touched her around the waist, that he “engulfed” a student in a hug, and an allegation that he allowed a student to massage his head.

Allegations which were not proved include him pushing a student up against a wall when they were alone in the classroom, pulling her leggings and underwear down, and then telling her not to tell anyone.

It was also not proved that Mr McCarthy kissed a student on the cheek,although he said that one “two or three occasions” he may have kissed the top of pupils’ heads but never on the cheek.

Finally, the panel said there was not sufficient evidence that he had sat in the entrance of a student’s tent during a school camping trip.

The report said: “Mr McCarthy’s conduct was inherently serious but towards the lower end of the spectrum. It was, however, conduct capable of being remedied.”