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Math teacher, 32, caught having sexual affair with student, court hears

A teacher was caught having a sexual affair with an 18-year-old student when his partner found more than 800 emails, including nude photos of the teen, on their shared computer.

Ross Spittal, a former teacher at Inveralmond Community High School in West Lothian, had sex with the teen at his home at least twice, a tribunal was told.

The 31-year-old maths teacher from Bishopton, Renfrewshire, began a romantic relationship with the student in 2019, who was 18 at the time, a panel heard.

The affair was discovered when his then-girlfriend, Kim Smyth, found over 800 emails between the couple on the couple’s shared computer.

During a hearing before the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) today, Ms Smyth, 32, revealed that she had found the messages on the student teacher portal, Glow, when Spittal looked at his phone while they were drinking together. their house.

She told the hearing that Spittal and the teen planned to meet the day she discovered the emails.

When she called Spittal to confront him about the emails, she said she “literally saw nude photos” of the student as she spoke to him.

One of Spittal’s emails said: ‘Kim is at work, you can come by,’ said Ms. Smyth.

Ross Spittal, a former teacher at Inveralmond Community High School in West Lothian, admitted to dating an 18-year-old student but believes he should still be allowed to teach

Ross Spittal, a former teacher at Inveralmond Community High School in West Lothian, admitted to dating an 18-year-old student but believes he should still be allowed to teach

Spittal, the brother of Blair Spittal, the Scottish Premier League footballer based in Ross County, admitted the relationship but said he thinks he should still be allowed to teach.

About the former schoolgirl, Ms Smyth said at the hearing, “I had known about Apprentice A.

“It was a running joke at school that she liked Ross.

“It was surprising that students were in love with him, but I didn’t think he would do anything about it.”

Ms Smyth, a former self-employed personal trainer, said she was once invited to Inveralmond Community High School to give a talk to students about self-employment.

Speaking of the visit, she said: “I came face to face with student A as she was shown around a group by Ross.

“When I asked if anyone had any questions, Mrs. A raised her hand and said, ‘Is this the other woman?’

‘I thought that was very self-assured.

“That must have been a year or so before everything came out.”

Ms Smyth said she saw Spittal looking for the student on Facebook and looking for fun posts about him after she was “feeling low about teaching.”

She said Spittal always messaged the teen with Glow, describing the tone of the messages as “talking and banter you’d expect with a friend.”

She added: “We were friends with many of Ross’s colleagues.

“We went out one night and we went to some of their weddings. They would tell me that he was very popular with students, especially with student A. He always waved it off.”

Spittal's affair was discovered when his then-girlfriend, Kim Smyth, found over 800 emails between the couple on the couple's shared computer.

Spittal's affair was discovered when his then-girlfriend, Kim Smyth, found over 800 emails between the couple on the couple's shared computer.

Spittal’s affair was discovered when his then-girlfriend, Kim Smyth, found over 800 emails between the couple on the couple’s shared computer.

When questioned by the panel, Ms. Smyth was asked what Spittal’s colleagues would say about Student A’s crush on the math teacher.

She said, “Other colleagues said Mrs. A used to hang out in his class and Ross acknowledged that, but always laughed it off.”

When asked what she meant by “laughing at Spittal,” she said, “It was always that she was a little girl.

“There was a laugh because you never thought a line would be crossed.”

Ms Smyth added: ‘At about 2pm on a Saturday night, me and Ross were having a drink and he kept looking at his phone. He sent student A a message on Glow.

‘I thought it was extremely strange behaviour.

“The day I came across the emails on our laptop, a message appeared at the bottom of the screen, she was emailing him.

“When I opened the conversation, it happened there and then, they planned to meet.

“On May 22, 2019, I was discussing some emails between him and student A. I found 800 emails between the two dating from early 2019.

‘There were nude pictures of student A. I literally saw nude pictures of her while I was on the phone with him.

“He asked me not to tell the police or the school.”

Ms Smyth told the council in an email: ‘Kim is at work, you can come by.’

When she didn’t call the police, she said, “It’s something I regret now.

“I was in complete shock and devastated.

“It was in his hands to say what he’d done.”

Spittal is a former math teacher from Inveralmond Community High School (pictured) in West Lothian

Spittal is a former math teacher from Inveralmond Community High School (pictured) in West Lothian

Spittal is a former math teacher from Inveralmond Community High School (pictured) in West Lothian

The relationship was later reported to Police Scotland, who found no crime had taken place, the hearing was told.

At the time the emails were discovered, Ms. Smyth had been dating Spittal for five years and they had been living together for three years.

Spittal’s legal representative, Claire Raftery, said her client admits all of the GTCS’s allegations.

He admitted to kissing the sixth-year student after an Easter school session in April 2019.

He also said that he had sexual relations with the same girl at his home in April 2019.

In May 2019, Spittal told the school’s principal, Susanne Young, that there was “nothing going on at all” between him and the pupil.

Today he admitted that he was dishonest about the relationship.

Ms Young said at the hearing that she was not aware of the ‘standing joke’ that student A ‘fantasized’ Spittal.

The GTCS examination will determine whether Spittal should remain on the education register and be re-admitted to the classroom.

The hearing continues.

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