Banned: Teacher who browsed porn at school

Science teacher sent chatroom messages on work laptop describing role-play scenarios 'related to a school environment'

Claudia Civinini

banned teacher

A teacher who browsed pornography websites on his work laptop, including during school hours and on-site, has been banned from the profession.

Peter Drake will be able to apply to rejoin the profession in four years' time, after the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) panel's initial decision to allow this after two years was overruled.

He was four months short of his 30th work anniversary at Queen Elizabeth High School, Northumberland, where he had been working as a science teacher, when on 13 May 2019 the school’s IT system flagged up some unusual activity from his work laptop.

As he had accessed a number of websites in breach of school policy, he was suspended from his role shortly after, and handed in his resignation on 16 May that year.

The TRA report states that Mr Drake admitted to all allegations.

On his work laptop, he undertook internet searches for sexual material and accessed one or more pornographic websites, including on one occasion during school hours and while at school.

Teacher browsed porn and used sex chatroom

He also engaged with users in a chatroom on a website called Playnaughty.com, using his work laptop.

Mr Drake admitted that he sent messages to two users of the chatroom, some containing references ''related to a school environment'', such as: "I have lots of scenarios – you want the role of a younger girl for an older man or something you would like to put forward to me?"

In another message, Mr Drake said: "You are 15." The user replied: "No sir im 14 I will be 15 in 3 months" [sic].

The TRA panel report reads: “This was, clearly, conduct that was of a sexual nature, given the content. Mr Drake made numerous overtly sexual comments whilst engaging in this activity. It was also the case that, at least to some extent, Mr Drake engaged in role-play scenarios related to a school environment.”

However, the panel noted that Mr Drake had an otherwise long and unblemished career. He had been working at the school for a long period.

The panel stated: “There was, therefore, every possibility that he could make a valuable contribution to the profession if he was to return to it.”

While the TRA panel initially recommended a two-year review period, decision maker Sarah Buxcey, on behalf of the secretary of state for education, decided against it and opted for a four-year review period.

She wrote in the report: “In this case, a number of factors mean that a two-year review period is not sufficient to achieve the aim of maintaining public confidence in the profession.

“These elements are the extent of insight or remorse shown given Mr Drake's long service and the potential risk to pupils accessing pornographic material on school equipment, which was found to be sexually motivated.”

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Claudia Civinini

Claudia Civinini

Find me on Twitter @claudiacivinini

Latest stories