Drama teacher at Northamptonshire girls school banned after taking raunchy photos of pupils

Michael Diggle was promoted to head of creative arts at Southfield School for Girls in September 2012
Michael Diggle was promoted to head of creative arts at Southfield School for Girls in September 2012
  • Pictures formed part of performance of provocative play
  • Two pupils asked to remove bra
  • Conduct panel rules teacher acted inappropriately but was not sexually motivated

A teacher at a Northamptonshire girls’ school who took raunchy photographs of pupils has been banned from teaching.

Michael Diggle, 39, has been banned for at least two years in a decision taken on behalf of Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

There was no need for Mr Diggle to move the student’s clothing himself

The ban follows disciplinary panel findings that he was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

Diggle started work as head of drama at Southfield School for Girls in Kettering in September 2006, and was promoted to head of creative arts in September 2012.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) professional conduct panel said in its findings that: “In late 2012 it was decided that students at the school taking A-level drama would perform a provocative play Crave outside of their usual studies.

“During the performance, some audience members were to be shown pictures of students, in provocative poses, such as those that some young women post on Facebook.”

The panel ruled that Diggle acted in an “inappropriate manner” by conducting photo sessions with one girl, Student A, in which he was alone in the room with her, moved her nightie to expose her legs, moved one of its straps from her shoulder and instructed her to remove her bra because its straps were showing.

The panel said: “There was no need for Mr Diggle to move Student A’s clothing himself, rather than asking Student A to do it.

“In the absence of such necessity, touching Student A so as to expose more of her legs was inappropriate.”

Diggle also instructed another girl, Student B, to remove her bra during another photo shoot and told a third, Student C, to shave her legs.

NCTL official Paul Heathcote said that while Diggle’s actions were not sexually motivated, and that he had a previous good history, public interest considerations – the protection of pupils, public confidence in the profession and declaring proper standards of conduct in the profession – outweighed his interests.

The ban can be reviewed after two years and means that Diggle is prohibited from teaching in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.

Diggle has a right of appeal to the High Court.