Teacher used school computers to view 10,000 adult web pages

1st April 2011 at 01:00
'Quick views' between lessons earn him a three-year ban

A teacher who visited adult and sexually explicit websites thousands of times while in school has been banned from the profession for three years.

Stephen Dibble looked at images online before and after school, during planning time and also had "quick views" between lessons, a General Teaching Council for England (GTC) panel heard. School IT records show that this habit amounted to more than 10,000 page impressions over a three-month period.

Mr Dibble, who worked at Darfield Foulstone School of Creative Arts in Barnsley, admitted charges of unacceptable professional conduct at a GTC hearing last week.

Panel chair Kathy Thomson told him he had a "deep-seated and ongoing problem" and said it was "fortuitous" that children hadn't seen the websites.

Mr Dibble, who had worked at the school since September 2002, regularly visited the sites between November 2008 and January 2009.

Ms Thomson said she was "not convinced" Mr Dibble had shown "genuine remorse or insight" and "there was a likelihood that young people could have inadvertently viewed the pornographic images".

Mr Dibble did not provide any references or testimonials.

The school's child protection officer said Mr Dibble visited the sites "before school, at lunchtime, during breaks, after school and during the 'working hours' in non-contact and PPA (planning, preparation and assessment) time. There is also evidence of 'quick views' between lessons, at changeover time on Friday 9 January 2009".

Mr Dibble's headteacher told the GTC hearing he should "not be employed in a school environment".

"Mr Dibble's behaviour, in using school computer equipment to access inappropriate material during the working day on numerous occasions, fell below the standards expected of a member of the profession because he failed to put the well-being of children and young people first," Ms Thomson said.

"Mr Dibble also failed to maintain reasonable standards in his own behaviour to enable him to maintain an effective learning environment and also to uphold public trust and confidence in the profession.

"We considered whether to impose a suspension order. We did not regard this to be appropriate because of the extent of Mr Dibble's access to pornographic sites with more than 10,000 (page impressions) in less than three months; this demonstrates to us the existence of a deep-seated and ongoing problem."

CAUGHT OUT - Other online misdemeanours

Diane Hutton ran a website called "Seductive Selina" which advertised her "personal and sexual services" and featured explicit photographs of her body. Ms Hutton had worked in a pupil referral unit in Erdington, Birmingham. She was reprimanded by the GTC last November.

Mark Kingston, who worked at Woodlands Primary in Grimsby, looked at "inappropriate websites" during the school day for two to three years. He admitted children might have been able to view the sites. He was banned from teaching for two years last November.

Recordo Gordon visited inappropriate websites and stored pictures on his school laptop while working for a school in Birmingham. He was reprimanded by the GTC in July 2010.

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