Following an investigation by Warwickshire Police a former teacher has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to sexual offences against two students at Princethorpe College ten and 12 years ago.
Simon Ferris, aged 41, of Weedon, Northamptonshire was arrested in April this year and on 13 September was charged with three counts of sexual activity with a child (adult abuse of position of trust) and one count of causing or inciting sexual activity with a girl (adult abuse of position of trust).
The offences took place between 2004 and 2006 when Ferris was a PE teacher at Princethorpe College.
Ferris pleaded guilty to the offences on 19 October and at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday, Wednesday 16 November, he was sentenced to 14 months in prison for offences against one girl and four months for offences against the second girl, to run consecutively
He will be placed on the sex offender register for ten years and made the subject of a ten-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
DC Kate Jackson said: “This marks the end of a thorough investigation by Warwickshire Police and I hope that the result gives a clear warning to other offenders that we take all allegations of sexual offences seriously and are committed to bringing those responsible to justice.
“I would like to thank the victims in this case, and the school, for their co-operation which enabled us to bring a successful prosecution and protecting other potential victims from harm.”
Princethorpe College’s headmaster, Ed Hester, said: “We are aware that Simon Ferris, who was employed at Princethorpe College, leaving some ten years ago, yesterday appeared in court and was sentenced regarding a number of serious offences.
“The current leadership team were not at the school at this time. We have of course co-operated fully with the police and other authorities to assist their enquiries.
“Our thoughts are now with anyone who has been affected by the case.
“It is important to stress that the safety and welfare of all the children in our care is of paramount importance to us. The Foundation rigorously adheres to all statutory guidance and regulatory requirements.
“Our safeguarding policy and procedures are reviewed at least annually by the leadership team and trustees, including the verification that pre-appointment checks on all staff are thoroughly carried out.
“The most recent inspection (February 2014) conducted by the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate confirmed that the school meets all the requirements of the Independent School Standards Regulations and found that the College’s pastoral care is outstanding.
“We are in the process of conducting a review to see what lessons can be learnt from the case going forward.”