Codsall teacher caught with child porn on laptop

A former assistant headteacher at a South Staffordshire school has been banned from the country’s classrooms after being caught with child porn on a school laptop.

David Cox, aged 46, was assistant head of Codsall Middle School where he taught from 2005 to 2009.

He was found guilty by a National College for Teaching and Leadership disciplinary panel of unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that could bring the teaching profession into disrepute.

Cox was accused of having an indecent image of a child on one of two school laptops which were in his possession and having ‘inappropriate images’ on a laptop belonging to him.

The image on the laptop was rated as class two – considered at the low end of the child porn scale – and the panel’s findings said the images on the personal laptop were on the threshold of being class one, the lowest level.

He was also accused of failing to follow instructions to return school laptops to the school and to have deleted indecent material or allowed it to be deleted from a school laptop before it was returned to the school.

The disciplinary panel found that on the balance of probabilities the allegations were proved and said that possession of images such as those found on the computers was ‘inappropriate for a teacher’.

He has now been banned from the teaching profession indefinitely.

In recommending that Cox should be banned from teaching indefinitely, the panel said Cox had ‘fallen significantly and seriously short’ of the professional standards teachers are expected to achieve.

In backing the disciplinary panel findings and announcing the ban on behalf of Education secretary Michael Gove, Paul Heathcote of the education department, said: “The panel has found the allegations proven. Mr Cox had an indecent image on a school laptop in his possession and had inappropriate images of children on a personal laptop. Mr Cox therefore demonstrated a disregard for his duties regarding safeguarding by possessing such images.

“The panel is satisfied that Mr Cox’s behaviour fell seriously short of the conduct expected of a teacher and found that his behaviour amounted to unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.”

He added: “I have decided that Mr David Cox shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach.”