Derbyshire teacher banned from classrooms for making indecent photo

Derbyshire teacher banned from classrooms for making indecent photo

A former Derbyshire teacher has been banned from teaching for life after he was convicted of making an indecent photograph of a child, or pseudo-photograph. Craig White, 27, who taught at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Ashbourne, was also convicted at the same time in April 2021 of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

A hearing of the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) misconduct panel, which was convened to consider Mr White’s fitness to be a teacher, was told that Mr White admitted the two convictions and also that Mr White had been arrested originally in relation to the offences on the second day of his employment as a qualified teacher. He had decided not to be present for the misconduct hearing or to be represented, so it proceeded in his absence.

The TRA’s newly-published report of the hearing said that following his conviction in 2021, Mr White initially received a community sentence to undertake a rehabilitation activity requirement for a maximum of 40 days as part of a 24-month community order. He was also required to participate in a sex offender programme for a period of 43 days.

It was also ordered that he be placed on the barring list by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), and he was required to sign the sex offenders register for a period of five years. A sexual harm prevention order was put in place for a period of five years.

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Mr White was also ordered to pay £340 towards the cost of prosecution, to pay a victim surcharge of £90 and the forfeiture and destruction of his mobile phones was ordered. But the hearing was told that the matter came back before the court again in August 2022, when Mr White admitted that he had failed to comply with the requirements of the community order and was resentenced for his original offences.

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He, therefore, received an additional sentence of 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years. He was required to perform 80 hours of unpaid work and 40 rehabilitation activity days and ordered to pay a further £200 in costs.

The sexual harm prevention order remained in place. The hearing panel was satisfied that Mr White’s conduct involved breaches of the Teachers’ Standards.

It also noted that “had the person that Mr White communicated with been of the age that Mr White believed (the person was actually a decoy posing as a child), the behaviour involved in committing the offence would have had an impact on the safety of that person. It is clear from the evidence that Mr White intended to engage in sexual communication with a child and thought that he was doing so. Further, Mr White was attempting to make preparations to meet the child for a sexual purpose.”

The report said that no character statements or references were referred to the panel, which said there was no evidence available to it “to demonstrate that Mr White did have a previously good history, or had demonstrated exceptionally high standards in both his personal and professional conduct or having contributed significantly to the education sector given the shortness of his time working as a qualified teacher”.

The panel took into account Mr White’s written evidence that he committed the offences following the breakdown of a personal relationship that had left him distraught and not thinking clearly. But added: “The panel considered that there was no evidence to suggest that Mr White, some four years after he was convicted of the relevant offences, has true insight about his conduct and why it is incompatible with the standards upheld by the teaching profession, or that he understands the potential consequences for the child.

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“Most significantly, his concealment of the nature of his convictions from friends, family and his employer in breach of the requirements of his community order demonstrate that Mr White’s path to developing insight is one that he has struggled with and casts doubt upon the extent to which his representations can be relied upon.”

The report added: “In light of the above, the panel considers that there is a risk of repetition by Mr White.”

Prohibiting Mr White from teaching indefinitely with no review period, decision maker Marc Cavey said: “Allowing for no review period is necessary to maintain public confidence and is proportionate and in the public interest. Mr Craig White is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England. Furthermore, in view of the seriousness of the allegations found proved against him, I have decided that Mr White shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach.”

Mr White has a right of appeal to the King’s Bench Division of the High Court within 28 days from the date he is given notice of the order.

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  • June 25, 2023