Chenderit School teacher banned for posting child photos to website used by paedophiles

A former Chenderit School teacher has been banned from working in schools indefinitely after uploading photos of children to a website used by paedophiles.
Steven Birkett was a teacher at Chenderit School. Photo: GoogleSteven Birkett was a teacher at Chenderit School. Photo: Google
Steven Birkett was a teacher at Chenderit School. Photo: Google

Steven Birkett admitted to posting the pictures on a legitimate Russian website between 2007 and 2017 using an email with a student's name, without permission from their parents or the school.

A Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) hearing in April decided to ban the 47-year-old former head of history from teaching in English schools, after deeming his actions 'may bring the profession into disrepute'.

A report from the meeting says: "The panel considered that, in his representations, Mr Birkett has not provided an adequate explanation for his behaviour.

"More importantly, there has been no acknowledgment of the effect his actions was likely to have had on the children involved or their families or of the danger that they were exposed to by him.

"Although Mr Birkett has made admissions to the facts, the panel is not satisfied that he has shown an adequate degree of insight into his conduct."

On November 2, 2016, the school's head teacher was contacted by Northamptonshire Police in relation to an investigation into Mr Birkett arising from pictures he had posted on a Russian website.

Mr Birkett had obtained the photos from Facebook without consent - they were not sexual or indecent and did not involve any pupils from Chenderit School.

He was suspended pending the conclusion of the investigation but no further action was taken by police as no criminal offence had been committed.

In March, 2017, the school commenced its own disciplinary action but Mr Birkett resigned on May 25, last year.

Chenderit head teacher Jane Cartwright said: "This has been a distressing matter for our school community and we are doing all we can to support students, parents and staff at the current time.

"However, I would like to reassure everyone in our community that no Chenderit students were involved in this."

Alen Meyrick took the decision to ban him from teaching on behalf of Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds.

Mr Birkett will not be able to apply to his ban lifted either, his prohibits him from working in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.