A former teacher at a Shildon School, who was officially sacked recently on the grounds of his sickness record, has since been accused of having a sexual relationship with a former pupil.
The details of the conduct between Mark Walker, who lives in Spennymoor, and the 17 year-old in question came to light after elements of an investigation into his behaviour were leaked to a regional newspaper. Mr. Walker has denied the allegations, claiming they are politically motivated. The technology teacher believes his suspension from Sunnydale Community College to be based on accusations that he had visited right-wing websites on a college laptop.
A report produced by the NSPCC, however, claims that he was suspended for viewing adult pornography with a colleague during school hours, using school equipment. The report, which was carried out for the Durham Children and Young People Services, adds that a number of emails were found on his school computer which indicated a sexual relationship between himself and the former pupil. The report finishes by saying, "The NSPCC believes that there is sufficient evidence from the emails and from previous matters concerning his professional conduct to conclude that Mr. Walker's behaviour has resulted in his conduct being less than one would expect of a teacher placed in a position of trust."
Mr Walker commented on this latest allegation, saying, "My former bosses have made a continually shifting set of allegations against me. "Each time an allegation has been answered, more have been advanced. At base their motives are political." Only days after the allegations were made against Mr Walker, he has decided to run for one of two vacant spots on Shildon Town Council. Although he lives in Spennymoor, Mark is eligible to stand in the Sunnydale Ward as he has been employed there for 12 months prior to December 11th, election day. He will also have to have had ten signitures from residents of the Sunnydale Ward.
Mr Walker will be the only British National Party candidate vying for a position, competing against a record number of candidates. Mark's brother, Adam Walker, was involved in a similar situation,quitting his job as a technology teacher in February 2007 after being suspended for accessing right-wing websites during school hours at his school, Houghton Kepier, a foundation school in Houghton-le- Spring.
Adam, 39, has since won an appeal to have an expresident of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) removed from a General Teaching Council committee, who will consider the charge of misconduct brought against him. Mr Walker believed that the presence of Judy Moorhouse could bias the hearing. The meeting, which was due to take place in Birmingham on Monday, November 17th, was therefore adjourned. Police officers were on duty outside of the building where dozens of BNP supporters had gathered to support Mr. Walker.