A TEACHER from Somerset who was jailed for making and distributing indecent images of children has been banned from teaching.

A prohibition order was slapped on Andrew Freethy, 33, who taught science at Matravers School, Wiltshire, at a Teaching Regulation Agency professional conduct panel hearing.

It means Freethy will be unable to work in any school in England and has no right to apply for the decision to be reviewed.

Freethy was sent to prison for 16 months in December 2019 and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register for ten years after pleading guilty at Bristol Crown Court to six charges.

He admitted distributing three indecent images of children between April 2011 and April 2018 and making three indecent images of children over the same period.

Freethy's crimes were discovered after images were shared on Facebook.

After the offences came to light, Freethy resigned from Matravers School in August 2018, five years after he took up his teaching post there.

He did not attend the conduct panel hearing.

He was deemed to have breached the professional standards of his profession.

The hearing was told there was "no evidence that any of the convictions related to any pupil of Mr Frethey".

A report into the findings of the panel said: "The panel has made a recommendation to the Secretary of State that Mr Andrew Freethy should be the subject of a prohibition order, with no provision for a review period.

"In particular, the panel has found that Mr Freethy is in breach of the following standards:

  • Teachers uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school, by having regard for the need to safeguard pupils’ well-being, in accordance with statutory provisions showing tolerance of and respect for the rights of others;
  • Teachers must have an understanding of, and always act within, the statutory frameworks which set out their professional duties and responsibilities.

"The findings are particularly serious as they include a finding of a relevant criminal conviction for distributing and making indecent images of children.

"In my judgement, the repeated nature of these offences means that there is some risk of the repetition of this behaviour and this puts at risk the future well being of pupils.

"I have therefore given this element considerable weight in reaching my decision.

"This means that Mr Andrew Freethy is prohibited from teaching indefinitely."

The National Crime Agency tweeted in October 2020: "Teacher Andrew Freethy, 32, of Somerset, used fake online personas to elicit sexual images from boys."