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Former Harrogate primary school head banned from teaching

Monday, 17 June 2024 06:35

By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter

Western Primary School in Harrogate.

A former headteacher of a Harrogate primary school has been struck off from the profession following his conviction for making thousands of indecent images of children.

Matthew Shillito, who worked at Western Primary School in Harrogate, was convicted at York Magistrates’ Court in 2022 of making more than 3,800 indecent images of children between 2007 and 2015.

He pleaded not guilty and was sentenced to a community order and 200 hours of unpaid work.

Mr Shillito was appointed head of the school, on Cold Bath Road, in 2019.

Following his arrest in January 2020, North Yorkshire Police said none of his offences related to his employment at Western.

During the police investigation, Red Kite Learning Trust, the multi-academy trust which runs the school, removed Mr Shillito from his post.

His case was referred to the Teaching Regulation Authority which published the results of its investigation this week.

Mr Shillito did not attend a hearing but submitted a written statement where he continued to maintain his innocence.

His request for the hearing to be held in private was rejected by a panel.

The panel concluded that Mr Shillito’s remorse was “very limited” and he fell “significantly short” of the standards expected of the profession.

They added:

“The limited evidence of insight and remorse means that there is some risk of the repetition of this behaviour and this puts at risk the future wellbeing of pupils”

The ban means Mr Shillito can never teach at any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.

He has a right of appeal to the High Court within 28 days of the judgement, which was delivered on May 28.

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