A HEADTEACHER who went through a misconduct hearing into an affair with a former pupil in the 1990s is to return to work at a York school.

City of York Council said John Tomsett will start a phased return to the role of headteacher at Huntington School on January 7, after governors had met and agreed on next steps.

Mr Tomsett greeted the news by saying: “I am delighted to be returning to the job I love at the school I love."

He said he would like to thank the governing body for 'showing such faith in me', and wanted to pay tribute to deputy heads Matt Smith and Gail Naish, who had led the school's 'phenomenal staff' during his absence.

“I would also like to thank all those people who have shown me and my family such incredible support during the most challenging time imaginable," he said.

“I would especially like to thank my wife and my two sons, who have been truly remarkable.

“I look forward to helping to educate the young people at our school and ensuring that they have the best futures possible.”

A council spokesperson said that until he returned in a full time capacity, Matt Smith would continue as acting head teacher at the school.

“We will continue to support the governors and Mr Tomsett as he settles into his return and look forward to welcoming him back to the school community," they added.

On October, a Teacher Regulation Agency (TRA)misconduct panel cleared Mr Tomsett of unacceptable professional conduct over his affair with a female A-level student at Eastbourne Sixth Form College.

However, it found his admission that a sexual relationship took place after he left employment there might have brought the profession into disrepute.

The panel heard he had become close with the 18-year-old student when he was an English teacher at the East Sussex college between 1990 and 1992.

On his last day at the school, he kissed her and a sexual relationship subsequently developed.

Last month, Mr Tomsett was allowed to carry on teaching by a ‘decision maker,’ acting on behalf of the Education Secretary, who said banning him would deprive the public of his contribution to the profession and would not be proportionate.

The decision maker, Alan Meyrick, said he had given considerable weight in his consideration of sanctions to the contribution Mr Tomsett had made to the profession.

He said testimonials had been referred to demonstrating that he was ‘seen as a caring, empathetic, dedicated and driven teacher and leader.’

But Mr Tomsett's future as head at the school remained unclear at that stage, with the decision on this to be made separately by the governors.