A former deputy headteacher who was convicted of possessing indecent images of one of his pupils has been banned from working in social care.
William Whillock was vice principal and designated child protection officer at The New School at West Heath in Sevenoaks, Kent, when three indecent photos of the girl were discovered on his mobile phone.
Police seized the girl’s phone and found she had sent a further 12 indecent images of herself to Whillock.
Rather than discouraging her from sending such images, Whillock had responded with inappropriate text messages. In response to a photo of the girl topless under a coat, for example, he wrote: “The jacket is lovely but not as gorgeous as the person wearing it! Night night princess.”
Whillock was convicted in April of four counts of possessing indecent photographs of a child and sentenced to a three-year community sentence. He was also disqualified from working with children and ordered to participate in a programme for sex offenders.
The committee said: “The offences involved the abuse of a vulnerable young person and the registrant knew the extent of her vulnerability; she had been a pupil at his school and he was in a position of trust.”
Whillock did not attend the hearing, but the committee took into account mitigation that was put forward on his behalf at the Crown Court hearing in April, including positive character references.
Whillock’s probation officer had also written to the GSCC outlining his progress to date.
But the committee found his misconduct to be “at the most serious end of the scale”, particularly as the text messages he sent to the girl showed “elements of grooming”.
“Even if genuine insight and remorse had been demonstrated, public confidence in social care services would be undermined if this matter were not dealt with by the most serious sanction,” it concluded.
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