Teacher caught flogging school’s artwork

Rainhill High School
Rainhill High School

A TEACHER has been reprimanded after he was caught selling artwork that he had created using classroom resources during school hours.

Stephen Baker admitted a charge of unacceptable professional conduct before the General Teaching Council’s (GTC) professional conduct committee after selling posters and canvas prints via the internet.

Baker, who resigned from his post at Rainhill High School in February, was found to have sold artwork between September and December 2010 and to have breached St Helens Council’s acceptable internet use policy.

He was also found to have made a Year 8 pupil feel “uncomfortable and anxious” by asking her to collect a poster from a printer on December 2 when she knew he was up to no good.

However, the GTC found him not guilty of breaching his duty of trust and confidence to the school by failing to give accurate information during investigation interviews.

In their subsequent report, the GTC committee said: “We are satisfied that in acting as he did, Mr Baker’s conduct fell short of the standard expected of a registered teacher and was behaviour which involved a breach of the standards of propriety expected of the profession.” They added that his conduct failed to uphold school policies and procedures and that his behaviour meant that he failed to uphold public trust and confidence in the teaching profession.

The committee also revealed that they had decided to impose a reprimand because “Mr Baker has accepted he was foolish and acted inappropriately”.

But, crucially, they added that there was “no evidence that his teaching ability was unsatisfactory nor that serious harm was caused to pupils”.

The reprimand against Baker will remain on the council’s register for two years.

However, Baker, who had been employed at the Warrington Road school since September 2005, now has the right to appeal against his disciplinary order to the High Court.