Teacher rapped over ‘inappropriate’ classroom downloads

A CHURCHILL teacher has been formally reprimanded by industry bosses after admitting downloading ‘inappropriate material’ on a school computer during lesson time.

David Cox was found guilty of ‘unacceptable professional conduct’ by a General Teaching Council (GTC) panel this week.

Mr Cox was rapped by the teaching industry watchdog after admitting using a computer at Churchill Community School to access inappropriate material from the internet.

The panel was told how Mr Cox had used school equipment to download unsuitable content during a six-month period in early 2008.

GTC committee chairman Arthur Naylor told him: “You downloaded and accessed inappropriate material on school computer equipment including during school hours, and during times when you were scheduled to be teaching.”

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And Mr Naylor continued: “Having found the facts of the allegation proved we further find that Mr Cox’s behaviour amounts to unacceptable professional conduct.

“Mr Cox’s behaviour in using school computer equipment to access inappropriate material during school hours and also during times when he was scheduled to be teaching fell below the standards expected of a member of the profession because he failed to put the wellbeing and progress of children and young people first.

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“Mr Cox also failed to maintain reasonable standards in his own behaviour which enabled him to maintain an effective learning environment and also to uphold public trust and confidence in the profession.”

Mr Cox left his position at Churchill in August 2008, but his professional teaching record will now include a black mark from the GTC for the next two years.

However, in mitigation, the committee noted Mr Cox had shown remorse for his actions.

Mr Naylor added: “He has also genuinely expressed regret for his actions, fully co-operated with this investigation and sought professional help and guidance.

“We have considered the positive and extensive references and testimonials which have been provided and are of the opinion that he is not likely to repeat his behaviour.”

Mr Cox has a right of appeal to the High Court within 28 days.

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