Westminster teacher banned from profession after being found with indecent images of schoolboys

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A teacher commended for his work with children has been banned from the profession after being found with indecent images of schoolboys.

Philip Ellis, a teacher at Paddington Academy, was cautioned last year after a movie was discovered at his home showing scenes of children showering and changing.

And in a disciplinary hearing at the end of July, a panel ruled he should no longer be able to work as a teacher. 

In 2011, Ellis, 58, was nominated for an award for his “enormous contribution to the north Westminster community” for work with “vulnerable” youths during his 30-year career in teaching.  

But four years later, in February 2015, police raided his home and seized a DVD titled “After School Break” which depicted four boys, aged between 14 and 16-years-old.

According to hearing papers, the commercially produced film featured four scenes titled “After School”, “The Banya”, “The Shower” and “Getting Dressed”.

He denied any knowledge that the film contained images of children. He said he had brought it because he is a naturist and believed it to be adult pornography.

But he was arrested on April 21 on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children and, on July 10 he accepted a caution in relation to the offence.

Three months later he resigned from his post as a teacher.

In a statement released after National College for Teaching and Leadership hearing, the panel stated: “The panel is satisfied that the conduct of Mr Ellis amounts to serious misconduct which fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession.

“The panel has taken into account of the uniquely influential role that teachers can hold in pupils’ lives and that pupils must view teachers as role models in the way they behave.”

Alan Meyrick, decision maker for the panel, concluded Ellis “is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England”.

“Furthermore, in view of the seriousness of the allegations found against him,” he added. “I have decided that Mr Philip Ellis shall not be entitles to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach.”

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “On 21 April 2015 a 56-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of indecent images of children. He accepted a police caution on 11 July 2015. 

Ellis was not present or represented at the hearing. The Paddington Academy did not respond to requests for comment.

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