A former teacher who was convicted for possession of child pornography has been banned from the country’s classrooms for life.
In a decision made on behalf of Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, Mark Edwards-Jones, a former tacher at Potters Bar’s Park Education Support Centre, was banned permanently on the recommendation of a disciplinary panel.
The National College for Teaching and Leadership professional conduct panel’s report states that on September 29, 2010, Edwards-Jones, 59, was arrested at his home on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.
It continues: “When the police attended at his home, he attempted to delete some images. On three different computers examined, the police discovered a total of 218 images which were categorised as Level 1 and three images categorised as Level 2.”
Edwards-Jones pleaded guilty at Wood Green Crown Court on October 7, 2011, to possessing an indecent photograph or pseudo photograph of a child.
He was then sentenced to a community order with a supervision requirement for two years, and a requirement to participate in Thames Valley Sex Offender Treatment Programme for up to 60 days.
Edwards-Jones was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years and an order was made for forfeiture of the computer seized by police.
Imposing the ban, NCTL official Paul Heathcote said: “Mr Edwards-Jones has been convicted of possession of indecent photographs/pseudo photographs of children. His behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with being a teacher. He has seriously departed from the standards expected of a teacher.
“Mr Edwards-Jones actions were deliberate and indeed he attempted to delete a number of the images before the police were able to view them. He has also admitted that his actions were sexually motivated.
“Given the circumstances of this case, I agree with the panel that a prohibition order is in the public interest. Mr Edwards-Jones has shown no remorse, nor recognised the wider impacts of his actions on children. I agree that the order should be without provision for Mr Edwards-Jones to apply to have the order set aside.”
The decision means that Edwards-Jones is prohibited from teaching indefinitely in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England. He has a right of appeal to the High Court.
Edwards-Jones was employed as a science teacher at the Park Education Support Centre, in Field View Road, between 2008 and 2011, responsible for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 to Year 10 pupils. He remained in the post until he resigned on November 17, 2011.