TEACHER STILL ALLOWED TO WORK DESPITE CONVICTION FOR POSSESSING INDECENT IMAGES OF BOYS

A TEACHER convicted of possessing indecent pictures of boys who touted for business for his private tutorials outside Eastbourne schools is still giving one-to-one classes.

Keith Hudson, 52, from Crowborough, was placed on List 99, a register of sex offenders barred from teaching, in 2001. However, he was banned only from teaching boys – not girls.

Mr Hudson was convicted and fined in 1998 after being found in possession of magazines featuring indecent images of young boys.

But since then he has been distributing leaflets around a number of Eastbourne primary schools advertising his tutorial service.

Mr Hudson, who said at the time of his conviction that his interest in the magazines was limited to naturism, was removed from the county supply teacher list. He then set up a private tutoring centre called The Sussex Learning Centre.

This side-stepped the need for a criminal records check – a loophole the county council is still urging is closed by the government – four years after it sent letters of warning about Mr Hudson to parents in Eastbourne via local schools.

Hudson confirmed to national media this week that his business was still running. A council spokesman said, 'This case involves a particular loophole we have previously highlighted, which allows a private tutor to teach children without any Criminal Records Bureau declaration or regulation.

'We want to see private tuition services regulated, and urge the Minister to review the situation as a matter of utmost importance.'

The spokesman said Hudson had never been employed directly as a teacher by East Sussex County Council, but had police clearance for supply work prior to his conviction.

The spokesman said, 'He was removed from the ESCC supply teacher list in 1998, as soon as we were aware of his conviction for possession of indecent images.

'We immediately wrote to our schools telling them of our concerns about his unsuitability to work with children and provided a standard letter schools could use to inform parents.

'Since his conviction, it has been our view that Mr Hudson was not suitable to work with any children.

'In February 2000, when we became aware that he had still not been added to List 99, we referred the matter to the DfES for further consideration.

'We have regularly sent reminders to schools when we have been informed that the Sussex Learning Centre was again leafleting schools – the last in June 2005.'

Mr Hudson was given permission by former Education Secretary Estelle Morris to work in all-girl schools.

A Care Standards Tribunal in July 2002 backed this outcome, when medical evidence showed his interest in boys to be 'paedophilic and inappropriate' but he had 'no interest in girls'.

The fact that adults who are seen as a danger to children can tutor privately is a 'glaring loophole', according to Wealden MP Charles Hendry.

He is seeking urgent clarification on the matter from Education Secretary Ruth Kelly over the fact that, despite his offence, Hudson is not prevented from setting up as a self-employed private tutor.

Mr Hendry said, 'This is a glaring loophole in the law that I am sure will worry many parents. It is shocking that this loophole still exists. This case was raised in 2000 and again in 2002, and even though the local authority sought more powers to deal with such cases, nothing has been done.

'Parents will find it bizarre that someone convicted of possessing indecent photographs of boys can teach children again.

'We should all be especially concerned that a loophole like this means that someone with a conviction can set up as a private tutor and parents will often know nothing about their background.'

Mr Hendry has written to the Education Secretary to highlight the matter.