Radio Sandwell News

Child pornography convicts face lifetime teaching ban

2013-06-06 23:40:03

Geoffrey Bettley

People convicted of child pornography offences may be barred from ever teaching in England again, the government has said.

A review of guidelines has started after Geoffrey Bettley, 36, convicted of accessing child abuse images, was cleared to teach again.

A professional conduct panel ruled Mr Bettley, from West Yorkshire, was not "a risk to children or young people".

Now, the Department for Education is to review its guidelines to panels.

In a statement, it said: "We want to ensure that in future anyone cautioned or prosecuted for offences related to child pornography is prohibited from teaching.

"We are taking steps to revise the guidance the independent panel uses to make a decision on whether a teacher should be barred. "

In its judgement, the National College of Teaching and Leadership panel said the six images viewed by Mr Bettley in 2009, were "not at the most serious end" of the scale used to categorise the severity of images of child sex abuse.

He was employed as an RE teacher at St Mary's Catholic School in Menston, from September 2001 to December 2011.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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