Heayel was teaching at St Columb Minor near Newquay, Cornwall before his secret life online was discovered
A primary school teacher was banned from teaching for posting inappropriate pictures of himself and offering to sell sex services online. Thomas Heayel, 31, used to teach at St Columb Minor near Newquay, Cornwall before his secret life online was discovered. Heayel was fired from the school after the photos were seen and referred to a disciplinary hearing by the education regulation industry.
He was found guilty of posting or showing one or more inappropriate images of himself online between February and July 2020. Heayel was also found to have posted one or more images, messages and/or comments on the internet offering for the sale of sexual services during the same period. Heayel began teaching at the school on September 1, 2019 until his release.
He admitted the allegations and accepted that his behavior constituted “unacceptable professional conduct”. The concerns were first raised by local authority members on July 7, 2021, before the teacher was fired on July 23. The disciplinary court found that Heayel’s conduct fell well short of the standards expected on appeal. According to the DailyMail, the panel said: “While the panel took into account that no evidence was presented that students had viewed or accessed the images online, the panel felt that, as a teacher, Mr Heayel would likely be seen as a role model for the students”.
“The panel noted that while the website on which Mr. Heayel posted the images was restricted, the images were also accessible via a generic web search and one image contained Mr. Heayel’s name. Consequently, the images were in the public domain, so they could be viewed by any member of the public or any student. The panel therefore concluded that Mr Heayel’s behavior would undoubtedly affect the public’s perception of the teaching profession and that public interest factors should be taken into account.
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Thomas Heayel is suspended from classes indefinitely, although the panel has noted Heayel’s remorse. Positive references were presented to the panel, but these were only relevant to Heayel’s application to the school, and no new references have been presented since his misconduct. Heayel is prohibited from teaching in any school, secondary school, relevant youth center or children’s home in England. In conclusion, the panel said there was “little evidence that Mr. Heayel’s contribution to the profession was either long-term or significant”. He can apply for the prohibition order to be lifted, but no earlier than July 5, 2024, two years after the order. In order for Heayel to return to teaching, he must demonstrate his suitability to another panel of the Teaching Regulation Agency.