Deputy head admits relationship with pupil who he moved into his home

Ian Berstan, who was a teacher at Peterhead Academy, was struck off for forming behaving inappropriately with the schoolgirl.

Deputy head teacher at Peterhead Academy admits relationship with pupil who he moved into his home Google Maps

A deputy head teacher has admitted having a romantic relationship with a pupil who he later moved into his own home.

Ian Berstan initially formed a “close” relationship with the girl when she was 15 years old while working at Peterhead Academy.

In or around May 2021, he hugged and kissed the then 16-year-old on the lips knowing she was attracted to him.

Berstan admitted that, between October and December, the inappropriate relationship became romantic.

It was in the December that the girl, then 17, moved into his home. Berstan left his job with Aberdeenshire Council before the local authority completed its disciplinary investigation and he began a sexual relationship with the schoolgirl.

In February, he consented to a Temporary Restriction Order.

Berstan admitted hugging and kissing the girl was sexually motivated and that his fitness to teach was impaired.

He has now been struck off after the General Teaching Council for Scotland found him unfit to teach.

The watchdog reviewed evidence including Snapchat conversations between the schoolgirl and other pupils as well as statements from friends, parents and the school’s headteacher.

In a summary of the evidence, the watchdog found: “[Berstan] submitted that he had been undermined and isolated by his fellow deputes at the school and that he had been subject to increased professional demands due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The teacher confirmed his relationship with [the pupil], who was currently living with him in his family home. He accepted that his behaviour with regard to his relationship with [the pupil] was unbecoming of a teacher.”

The Fitness to Teach Panel said the allegations Berstan admitted to in full were “very serious”.

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: “We note the ruling by the General Teaching Council for Scotland that the teacher concerned has been removed from the teaching register.

“The safety and welfare of children in Aberdeenshire is always our priority and we can confirm that the person is no longer employed by us as a teacher.”

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