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Child abuse image teacher won't return to teaching

A West Yorkshire teacher caught downloading child abuse images "will not be teaching in the future", Michael Gove has said after being challenged on the case by MPs.

The Education Secretary said procedures had been tightened up following the case of Geoffrey Bettley, 36,

who was suspended from St Mary's Catholic School in Menston in December 2010 after police found nearly 200 child abuse images on his computer.

He accepted the police caution and was dismissed by the school following a disciplinary hearing in December 2011.

But a professional conduct panel ruled that he should be allowed to return to teaching after concluding he "does not represent a risk to children and young people".

Mr Gove was asked to explain the decision by Tory Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, in the Commons.

It's a very serious issue... it is the case Mr Bettley is not teaching at the moment and will not be teaching in the future. It is also the case that the process we arrived at for ensuring the National College of Teaching and Leadership reviewed cases was not as good as it should have been, to put it mildly. I don't put the blame at anyone else's door other than my own."

– Michael Gove, Education Secretary

Video: Sex offender teacher 'fit to return to class'

There's controversy surrounding a disgraced Religious Education teacher who's been ruled fit to return to the classroom despite being sacked for possessing scores of indecent images of children.

Geoffrey Bettley was dismissed from his ten-year career at a Catholic school in West Yorkshire after he was cautioned by police when they discovered almost 200 child abuse images on his computer.

But now the Education Secretary has backed an official disciplinary watchdog which says he should no longer be bannned from teaching because he doesn't in their words "represent a risk to children and young people." Jon Hill reports.

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To build or not to build?

A public inquiry to decide the fate of land earmarked for 180 new homes in West Yorkshire has started this morning.

A government inspector is heading the meeting which will decide if land at Derry Hill in Menston, will be granted village green status. If given, it would block any developments on the greenbelt site. A final decision is expected at the end of this week.

Campaigner Steven Ellams has been speaking to Calendar.

Hope for village against house building

The Government is looking at whether hundreds of homes should be built in a West Yorkshire village.

Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Homes are planning on building 300 homes in Menston, but now the Department for Communities and Local Government is looking at papers behind the decision.

It could be a lifeline to campaigners who want to stop the developments.

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