Teacher banned after paying for sexual pupil videos

A teacher has been prevented from teaching indefinitely after a panel found he had requested, received and paid for video of a sexual nature from children.

Billy Hart, 28, was a teacher at the City of Peterborough Academy in Peterborough between February 2020 until he was suspended in March 2021.

The Teaching Regulation Agency panel found he had breached a number of standards including treating pupils with dignity and his conduct "fell significantly short of the standards expected".

After Mr Hart was arrested in June 2021 on suspicion of causing or inciting the exploitation of a child, police said no further action would be taken.

Mr Hart admitted the allegations against him - that he corresponded with two children using social media and requested, offered payment, paid and received a video from the children.

It was proved by the panel this video was of a sexual nature showing a child tied up with a blanket round their legs, and his behaviour was found to be of a sexual nature or was sexually motivated.

'Lack of remorse'

The panel said there was a "strong public interest consideration" for the safeguarding and wellbeing of the pupils as the findings of the misconduct were of a sexual nature and involved children.

It also found that with the evidence available Mr Hart did not "demonstrate any remorse for his conduct" and did not co-operate with the police investigation when he was arrested.

The panel said the 28-year-old refused to be interviewed due to Covid-19 and refused to provide passwords for the devices which were seized.

It concluded that the lack of remorse meant there would be a risk of this behaviour repeating, risking the wellbeing of pupils.

While Mr Hart was a young and inexperienced teacher, the panel believed the risk of this behaviour repeating would decrease once he had the opportunity to mature and engage in a significant level of safeguarding training and rehabilitation.

The panel decided that Mr Hart was prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children's home in England.

A prohibition order was given to Mr Hart which would then be reviewed in three years' time to prevent risk of this happening in the future.

A spokesperson for Greenwood Academies Trust, of which the City of Peterborough Academy is a part, said: "We are committed to providing a safe teaching and learning environment for our entire school community, and as part of this uphold the highest standards of behaviour and professional conduct.

"In supporting these commitments, as soon as we became aware of these allegations, we took immediate action and worked with the appropriate authorities to support the investigation and take appropriate safeguarding steps."

The trust has encouraged anyone with concerns to contact the academy directly for support.

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