Lancaster Uni lecturer previously posted pictures of young pupils on Russian website used by paedophiles
He was banned from teaching children in 2017
A teacher who was found guilty of posting pictures of school children onto a Russian website used by paedophiles is now a lecturer at Lancaster University.
Steven Birkett, who was a secondary school teacher, admitted to sharing pictures of young children in their uniform on the website without permission of the school or parents. When he was found guilty, he was permanently banned from teaching children.
However, Lancaster University today confirmed to The Tab that Steven Birkett has been employed by the university since 2019. They said they were “satisfied” that there were no safeguarding concerns with him teaching undergraduate students.
In March 2017 there was disciplinary action taken against Steven, which was based upon the police investigation.
Birkett admitted to posting photographs of at least two pupils – which he had taken from Facebook without their knowledge – for at least ten days, having set up an account using an email address containing the name of another pupil.
A Teacher Disciplinary Panel heard none of the pictures were sexual or indecent but that Birkett would have been aware the site was used by paedophiles.
The report suggested that some of the pages on folders on the site were labelled “cute”, “3/4 yo”, “Little Cuties” and “Cute 8yo”, seemingly in reference to young girls based on their age.
The website is a photograph sharing website which is legitimate but is known to be frequented by paedophiles.
The action concluded that Steven Birkett would be prohibited from teaching indefinitely and could not teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England. The police were unable to press charges as no criminal laws had been broken.
A second year History student, taught by Steven Birkett, who prefers to remain anonymous, said that he was “shocked” the university allowed him to work there.
He said: “Even though there’s no legal requirement for him to lose his teaching role, Steven Birkett hasn’t shown himself to be the kind of character who should be teaching in any capacity.
“I’m shocked that the university are consciously letting a man who isn’t allowed to teach anyone under the age of 18 be the kind of person who represents them as they have stood by and done nothing about it. It’s disgraceful.”
The University’s full statement can be found below:
“Steven Birkett has been employed as a Graduate Teaching Assistant with Lancaster University since 2019 as part of his PhD studies.
“His appointment has been fully investigated in consultation with the Department for Education and General Teaching Council and we are satisfied that there are no safeguarding concerns with him teaching undergraduate students.”
Steven Birkett was approached for comment but did not respond.