A teacher found guilty of sexual offences at a private school in Edinburgh is now working with children at an educational institution in England. Gordon Cruden was found guilty of exposing himself in front of teenage boys, but continues to work with children as a French teacher at Bloxham School in Oxfordshire.
According to The Herald, Cruden was found guilty in December 2015 of three charges of indecent exposure at Merchiston Castle school between 1980 and 1985. The 62-year-old was not fined or given a jail sentence, however, he received an "absolute discharge" by Sheriff Kevin. This means that Cruden's conviction was not recorded and he was not placed on the Sex Offenders Register.
The language teacher was accused of knowingly wearing a pair of trousers with a hole in the crotch area. He would then reportedly sit with his legs wide open to expose his genitals to the students. This was witnessed by three teenage boys at Merchiston Castle, an all-boys independent boarding school in Colinton, Edinburgh. With fees of nearly £29,000 per year, Merchiston Castle is seen as being at the higher end of educational institutions.
Despite the charges, Cruden now teaches French at Bloxham school to students of "all age groups". His biography on the school's website states that he coached the Under-16 team for a number of years and now "holds weekly touch-rugby 'Cruden' training sessions" during the summer term. He also organises early morning swimming practices and was the assistant housemaster for some time.
Bloxham School prides itself on "Christian values", according to their website, and runs as a co-educational boarding school for children between 11 and 18 years old. Current total school fees are £10,605 per year. Cruden's tutor profile on RateMyTeacher.com gives him a high rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, with a number of students saying that he was "aggressive". Another posted that he was a "great teacher and can have a bit of banter".
UPDATE: 10:22am on 23 February 2016
A Bloxham School spokesperson confirmed that a member of their staff appeared at a court in Edinburgh in December 2015 and told IBTimes UK: "The case was granted an absolute discharge and did not result in a conviction. The safeguarding of our students is our utmost priority and all correct procedures were followed throughout. In the light of this verdict, and following legal and Local Authority advice, the member of staff returned to work in January."
The spokesperson said that Oxfordshire Safeguarding and Child Protection has since re-examined the case and reportedly confirmed that it is appropriate for Cruden to resume his role.
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