A headmaster who was dubbed Britain’s ‘strictest’ but was sacked by a £37,000-a-year boarding school for sending ‘flirty’ texts to pupils has been reported after trying to set up an online academy.
Toby Belfield, 47, was sacked earlier this year by Ruthin School in Denbighshire, North Wales, for sending the inappropriate text messages to female pupils.
In a series of texts, married Mr Belfield called the girls ‘cute’, ‘naughty’ and discussed one’s virginity.
Toby Belfield, 47, who was dubbed Britain’s ‘strictest’ but was sacked by a £37,000-a-year boarding school for sending ‘flirty’ texts to pupils has been reported after trying to set up an online academy
He was dubbed Britain’s strictest headmaster when he sent an email to parents saying he was looking to expel students from Ruthin School in North Wales.
Now his former school has raised concerns and reported him to the Disclosure and Barring Service after Mr Belfield set up a new teaching venture called Cambridge School Online.
Ruthin School’s governing body, the Council of Management, said: ‘Toby Belfield was dismissed from Ruthin because the school had clear evidence that he had contravened our safeguarding policies on numerous occasions by contacting children with inappropriate and suggestive messages over social media.
He was sacked earlier this year by Ruthin School in Denbighshire, North Wales, for sending the inappropriate text messages to female pupils
In a series of texts, married Mr Belfield called the girls ‘cute’, ‘naughty’ and discussed one’s virginity. Pictured: One of the exchanges Belfield had with a student
‘We also have evidence that he has continued to communicate with existing and former Ruthin students since his removal from the School and we are taking official steps to attempt to prevent him from doing so, to the extent we are legally able.
‘As part of our disciplinary process we have reported him to the DBS which is responsible for safeguarding in the UK, and to the TRA, which is the body responsible for maintaining standards in the teaching profession.
‘We terminated Mr Belfield’s employment because we were advised he was unsuitable to teach children and would present a significant safeguarding risk were he to be allowed to continue to do so.
‘In this context, we are very concerned that he is in the process of setting up an online school and have reported our concerns to the relevant professional and safeguarding authorities.’
Belfield complimented a student’s red dress, said he would visit pupils at University, and asked about their sex lives. The messages above are examples of what he had sent to pupils
Belfield has admitted that some of the messages he sent were inappropriate. Pictured: One of his texts
The website for Cambridge School Online states that it is registered with UCAS – the university admissions body.
Mr Belfied said: ‘I am greatly saddened by the school’s statement. During my 10-year period the school was highly successful.
‘I continue to have enormous support from parents, former students and agents throughout the world.
‘I do not accept that the school is entitled to prevent me from communicating with former students over the age of 18.
‘Many have gone on to top universities and wish to update me as to their progress.
‘It is this support from so many former students, parents and agents, that has convinced me that setting up a virtual online school for bright pupils, is the right thing to do.
‘Ruthin School gave me no opportunity to offer a defence, to see, in full, the evidence against me, or to appeal their decision to dismiss me.
‘I have never been interviewed by the police re: safeguarding concerns.
‘No criminal act was ever committed and I am legally entitled to teach and operate an educational establishment.
‘My new venture will be a success, with many future students from around the world being able to go to a top university, through the high quality academic education provided by me and my staff.’
Toby Belfield pictured outside the school, in Denbighshire, north Wales
A spokesman for UCAS said it was ‘reviewing’ the application from Cambridge School Online.
The spokesman said: ‘Students need to be able to trust that their university application is being handled by teachers and advisers who are responsible and honest, and knowledgeable about the admissions process.
‘The school was recently registered with UCAS and no applications have been received from it. We are reviewing this registration, and have contacted the school to suspend access to our services and ask for further clarifications.
‘Where there is misrepresentation or activities that contradict our terms and conditions, we will permanently remove the centre’s registration with UCAS.’