A TEACHER who left a schoolboy to cry and rock himself to sleep after sexually assaulting him 20 years ago has been banned from the classroom.

Andrew Bruce touched the pupil’s genitals after he came to him for help during the night on a residential course in 2004, a Teaching Regulation Agency report published this week reveals.

The 64-year-old, who was the director of music at Bishop’s Stortford College, an independent boarding school on the Essex border, has been permanently banned from teaching after a professional conduct panel earlier this year.

Mr Bruce was assisting the Royal School of Church Music with a residential course in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, when the alleged incident happened.

Echo: Bishop's Stortford College is an independent boarding school on the Essex borderBishop's Stortford College is an independent boarding school on the Essex border (Image: Sarah Gowans)

'Humiliated and embarrassed'

The pupil said the teacher had asked him into his bathroom where he asked the schoolboy to take off his clothes before putting soap on his crotch and groin area.

In his evidence, he said he was “uncomfortable about the experience at the time and froze up feeling humiliated and embarrassed about the situation”.

He “returned to his bed, cried and rocked himself to sleep”, the report adds.


The disgraced teacher claimed he did not remember the pupil or the incident, but the panel found the allegation proved.

Mr Bruce was suspended from his role at Bishop’s Stortford College in 2017 after the pupil contacted the police.

He was suspended again in 2018 after a parent of another schoolboy complained about inappropriate behaviour on school trips in 2015 and 2016.

Echo: The allegations against Mr Bruce were published in a Teaching Regulation Agency report this weekThe allegations against Mr Bruce were published in a Teaching Regulation Agency report this week (Image: UK Government)

The further allegations included asking two boys to remove their clothes, including their underwear, after a trip to the beach so he could check if they had cleaned themselves of sand properly.

Mr Bruce denied the allegations against him however he admitted putting his head around a bathroom door to check one of the boys was showering on an earlier school trip, but he insisted he “did not linger”.

He will not be allowed to apply for his ability to teach to be reinstated.

Decision maker Sarah Buxcey said: “I am particularly mindful of the finding of the seriousness of the findings involving children in this case and the impact that such a finding has on the reputation of the profession.”

Bishop's Stortford College said it referred this matter to the Teaching Regulation Agency "as soon as these allegations came to light".

In a statement, it said: "We welcome the panel’s decision, and applaud those who had the courage to come forward and give evidence in the first place.  

"Nothing is more important to us than the continued safety, happiness and overall well-being of our pupils."

The Royal School of Church Music said its "thoughts and prayers are with" anyone affected.

It said any behaviour described in the Teaching Regulation Agency's report "would be a clear breach" of the trust given to those in the church community.

"The RSCM is committed to safeguarding and has policies and procedures which assist us in protecting and safeguarding all who participate in any RSCM activity," it added.