Megan Fletcher-Smith, instructed by Harjinder Saundh of Thompsons Solicitors, successfully defended a teacher who admitted unacceptable professional conduct and conduct likely to bring the profession into disrepute before the Teachers Regulation Agency.
Megan’s client admitted accessing adult pornography from home on a school device. The Teachers Regulation Agency asserted (though it was not charged) that the pornography included images of children between the ages of 10 and 13. This was denied and Megan asked that the panel specifically provided a determination as to this issue, as it would be relevant to seriousness and therefore to the public interest. The panel agreed and determined that there was no evidence upon which they could rely to find that there was anything illegal about the material accessed by Megan’s client.
Despite this finding, the Teachers Regulation Agency made a sanction bid of a Prohibition Order without review. Megan firmly defended her client as to this point. She mitigated in full on his behalf and pointed out the many positive factors in his case. Megan submitted that the publishing of an adverse finding in this case would be sufficient. She also pointed out that the material was accessed from the privacy of her client’s home, was not in any way illegal and that if it had been accessed on a private device there would have been no reason for regulatory intervention. She further submitted that there was no harm or risk of harm to any pupil, as there was no suggestion that they would have been able to access any of the material; and that the teacher had made significant positive contributions to the education sector, making it in the public interest to retain him as a teacher.
The panel agreed with Megan’s robust submissions and found that a Prohibition Order was not proportionate in this case.
Megan enjoys a varied professional discipline practice and is known for providing no-nonsense advice in a clear and concise matter. She is a respected advocate before a variety of regulators and is known for her acute attention to detail in such cases.
View Megan’s profile here.