A college in the North East has sacked a female tutor after she allegedly talked to her class about sex acts, prostitution and fetishes.

Northumberland College (pictured right) principal Stuart Cutforth said the behaviour of the tutor, who has not been named, came to his attention after the college received a letter of complaint in July.

The woman, who was running an employment skills course in Bedlington, was immediately suspended while the matter was investigated by a member of the college executive team.

The college, which achieved a good rating from Ofsted in March, said it dismissed the woman following a disciplinary hearing.

Unemployed Paul Cocallis had been sent on the course by the job centre and told the Evening Chronicle local newspaper that he had been “horrified” by the tutor’s actions.
He claimed that, during the three-week course run by Northumberland College hosted at Bedlington Community College, the tutor discussed prostitution, fetishes and other graphic content.

“It was disgusting really, other members of the class were not happy,” said the 25-year-old.

Mechanic Mr Cocallis added: “It got really out of hand at times but you could not walk out because then it would be reported back that you had not completed the course. You had no choice but to stay and listen.”

Mr Cutforth said: “The college received this complaint on July 29 and put our complaints policy and procedures into place directly. The tutor was suspended with immediate effect.
“The Skills Funding Agency and Job Centre Plus were also notified of the complaint immediately.

“The issues highlighted within the letter of complaint were investigated thoroughly by a member of the executive team and a disciplinary hearing held.

“The outcome of the hearing resulted in the tutor no longer being employed at the college.

“In short, every action possible was taken to ensure that the complaint was dealt with in a thorough and efficient manner and our external agencies are satisfied with the outcome of the actions taken.”

A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesperson said: “The department takes safeguarding matters seriously.

“All publicly-funded providers are responsible for the safety and well-being of their learners and for the professional conduct of their staff.

“In this case the college acted decisively in investigating this matter.”

The Institute for Learning declined to say if the tutor was a member. FE Week was unable to contact the tutor.