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Reprimand for teacher 'shocked' by his own 'inappropriate' use of laptop

A teacher who used his school laptop computer to look at "inappropriate" images has been reprimanded by the General Teaching Council for England (GTC).

Miles Mahoney also sent "inappropriate" messages using the MSN chat programme. A GTC panel heard he was so "shocked" by his own behaviour that he offered to resign from his post.

Mr Mahoney, who worked at Toynbee School in Hampshire, misused his laptop for eight years, up to November 2008. The unsuitable emails came from a "third party" and he did delete them.

"This was not an isolated incident. He made use of a school computer over a period of time, which was inappropriate. He did not immediately admit his behaviour, although he did admit the totality of it in due course," said panel chair Pete McAleer. "The panel accepts that no harm was done to any of the pupils in the school, but there was a risk of harm."

"We note that Mr Mahoney had not been well and that he had recently suffered bereavement. It is further noted that Mr Mahoney proffered his resignation and that he was shocked at what he had allowed to happen on a school computer.

"In the view of the committee this was conduct which fell short of the standard expected of a registered teacher and constituted behaviour which involved a breach of the standards of propriety expected of the profession."

The reprimand will stay on Mr Mahoney's record for two years.

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