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No ban for school laptop porn teacher

PE teacher who was sacked after viewing porn on his school laptop says 'I will not be venturing down that avenue again'

robert walker, porn, pornography, tra, teaching regulation agency, cambridgeshire

PE teacher who was sacked after viewing porn on his school laptop says 'I will not be venturing down that avenue again'

A PE teacher who used his school laptop to view pornography for up to two years has been allowed to continue teaching.

Robert Walker was caught using the computer to access pornographic material at home and outside school hours by the unnamed Cambridgeshire school’s IT system.

According to a report published by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA), he was reported to the principal “as some of the websites viewed referred to the term ‘twinks’ which is an American term used for males who are over 18 years of age but appear younger”.

Police searched Mr Walker’s house and seized all IT equipment and phones in February 2017, but the school was told three months later that no charges would be brought.

The report says that the TRA panel was “keen to stress that there was no suggestion that child pornography had been viewed by Mr Walker and that this had been confirmed during the course of the police investigation”.

The teacher, who was born on 23 September 1983, was later dismissed by the school following an internal investigation in which he admitted contravening its IT acceptable use policy.

'The least serious end of the spectrum'

The report says Mr Walker admitted accessing the pornography on the laptop “over a period of 18 months to two years”.

It says that while the behaviour took place outside school and in the evening, the panel was “mindful that Mr Walker had acted as head of department and therefore should have been leading by example”.

According to the report, Mr Walker said that he knew “his behaviour was below the expectation of a teacher”, and it quotes him saying: “I can assure anyone who needs to know I will not be venturing down that avenue again."

The panel found him guilty of unacceptable professional conduct, but decided against banning him from teaching.

It said there were no safeguarding issues to consider, and took into account “evidence of Mr Walker’s previously good record, including his role in organising various school trips and work to ensure exceptionally high GCSE results”.

The report says: “The panel is of the view that, applying the standard of the ordinary intelligent citizen, recommending no prohibition order is a proportionate and appropriate response. The nature and severity of the behaviour is at the least serious end of the possible spectrum.”

Dawn Dandy, who made the final decision on behalf of the education secretary, agreed with the panel’s recommendations.

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