Primary school teacher banned for offering to sell sexual services

Primary school teacher, 31, is banned from the classroom for offering to sell sexual services and posting snaps of himself wearing only his pants online

  • Thomas Heayel, 31, was dismissed from his Cornwall teaching role last July
  • He posted photos offering to sell sexual services, with one including his name
  • He expressed remorse and has now been banned from teaching indefinitely 

A Cornish primary school teacher has been banned from teaching for posting inappropriate pictures of himself and offering to sell sexual services on the internet.

Thomas Heayel, 31, taught at St Columb Minor Academy in St Columb Minor, near Newquay, and was recently the subject of a Teaching Regulation Agency disciplinary hearing.

He was ruled to be guilty of posting or allowing to be displayed one or more inappropriate images of himself on the internet between February and July 2020.

He was also found to have posted or allowed to be displayed one or more images, messages and/or comments on the internet offering to sell sexual services during the same period.

Thomas Heayel, 31, taught at St Columb Minor Academy in St Columb Minor, near Newquay, Cornwall

In this image posted online the primary school teacher encouraged people to message him privately for ‘modelling rates’

He was found to have posted pictures in nothing but his underwear, which the panel found could bring the teaching profession into disrepute

Mr Heayel, who started at the school on September 1, 2019, admitted the allegations and that his behaviour amounted to unacceptable professional conduct. 

Concerns were first raised by members of the local authority on July 7, 2021, before the teacher was dismissed on July 23. 

The disciplinary panel was satisfied that Mr Heayel’s conduct fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession, but that his actions fell ‘towards the lower end of sexual misconduct’.

The panel said: ‘Whilst the panel had regard to the fact that there was no evidence presented that any pupils had seen or accessed the images online, the panel did consider that as a teacher Mr Heayel was likely to be viewed as a role model by pupils.

‘The panel noted that whilst the website where Mr Heayel posted the images was restricted, the images could also be accessed via a generic internet search and one image contained Mr Heayel’s name. 

‘Consequently the images were in the public domain enabling any member of the public, or pupil, to have sight of them.

‘The panel therefore concluded Mr Heayel’s behaviour would undoubtedly damage the public’s perception of the teaching profession and there were public interest factors to consider.’

It also the considered that public confidence in teaching could be ‘seriously weakened if conduct, such as that found against Mr Heayel, were not treated with the utmost seriousness when regulating the conduct of the profession.’ 

The panel noted Mr Heayel’s remorse but prohibited him from teaching indefinitely.

It found that although positive references were submitted to them, these were only relevant to Mr Heayel’s application for employment at the school and no new references had been provided since his misconduct. 

The panel concluded there was ‘little evidence to suggest that Mr Heayel’s contribution to the profession had been either long term or significant.’

This means he cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.

He can apply for the prohibition order to be set aside, but not until 5 July 2024, two years from the date of the ordert. 

In order for Mr Heayel to then return to teaching, he must prove to another Teaching Regulation Agency panel that he is fit to do so.

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