Fears paedophile may teach again

A CONVICTED child-porn paedophile – a former Sunshine Coast high school teacher – may be back in the classroom within three years.

Simon Andrew Kemp, who taught at Maroochydore High, was found in possession of 14,000 child pornography pictures and more than 500 child-porn video files.

Mr Kemp served four months in prison in 2008 over the child exploitation material featuring children aged between one and 15.

He is one of a potentially large group of offenders who can use a loophole in the Queensland Education Act.

If Mr Kemp had kept his Queensland teacher registration up to date, he would never again be able to teach in Queensland.

However, he let the registration lapse.

Anyone wanting to teach in this state has to be registered by the Queensland College of Teachers.

Because he was not registered, the QCT disciplinary committee could meter out one penalty only.

That was to prohibit Mr Kemp from re-applying for his teacher registration for five years.

Neither the government nor the QCT is willing to accept responsibility for the loophole.

Last month, Opposition education spokesman Bruce Flegg said he wanted a life ban slapped on any teacher found guilty of criminal offences against children.

“In cases such as child rape and the very serious end of allegations, we should be ensuring these people never again deal with children,” he said.

“This constant reapplying to go back into teaching, we run the risk that some of these people are just going to slip through the net and back into the classroom.”

Mr Kemp was a registered Queensland teacher for four years before he was picked up by a Queensland police taskforce targeting child abusers.

He was teaching maths and information technology at Maroochydore High at the time and had coached an under 15 boys soccer team.

In June, 2007, Taskforce Argos informed QCT that Mr Kemp had been charged with offences of possession of child exploitation material and making child exploitation material.

The Daily has obtained a copy of the QCT Teachers' Disciplinary Committee hearing documents, available under the Right to Information Act.

It revealed that Crown prosecution submissions to Maroochydore District Court included that Mr Kemp had images and videos of children, aged one to 14, posing naked and engaging in oral, anal and vaginal sex with each other and adult males.

Mr Kemp was sentenced to 15 months in jail, suspended after serving four months.

QCT director John Ryan told the Daily this week it had never received an application from a former teacher whose registration they had cancelled.

Mr Ryan, who denied there was a loophole, said the applicant would have to prove he or she had extenuating circumstances to be able to teach again.

Queensland Education Minister Geoff Wilson was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Twenty-six teacher registrations were cancelled last year and another 300 remained under investigation.

Most can reapply for registration after five years.



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