Prince William and Kate Pull Kids from School Before ‘Serious’ Scandal Hits

The Deputy Head of Pastoral at Thomas’s Battersea – where Prince George and Princess Charlotte first attended school – has pleaded guilty to child exploitation offences.

MailOnline can reveal Matthew Smith, 34, appeared in Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday on charges of sexual abuse relating to the making and distribution of indecent images of children.

The charges do not relate to children at the prestigious school, which costs upwards of £20,000 per year.

The school was informed on November 7 their new hire – who only started in his role in September – was being investigated by the National Crime Agency. 

Prince George and Princess Charlotte both attended Thomas’s Battersea up until early this year, when they moved to Lambrook School, near Ascot. They’d left by the time Smith was employed.

In an email sent to worried parents and seen by MailOnline, the school said Smith’s role was immediately terminated after learning of the charges.

Smith, from Southwark, pleaded guilty to distributing indecent images of children, and inciting the sexual exploitation of children.

A sentencing hearing will take place at a later date at Southwark Crown Court.

He was arrested on Sunday after an extensive investigation. The front door to his rented house had been smashed in when MailOnline arrived on Wednesday night. 

The door was off its hinges and laying on the front walkway, replaced by a plywood insert.

School principals Tobyn Thomas and Ben Thomas told parents in a statement: ‘I do not for a minute underestimate the shocking and deeply concerning nature of this news.’

‘Our focus right now is on our pupils, parents and colleagues.’

The statement went on to explain that while pupils must be informed of Smith’s immediate departure, the school has no intentions of ‘elaborating further’ on the reasons behind his dismissal.

‘We will need to work together to respond to children’s questions in an age-appropriate way,’ they said.

‘If you are unsure of what to say to your child, and would like further guidance, please do not hesitate to contact any of the following members of our leadership team.’  

The school has vowed to continue liaising with authorities. 

A spokesperson for the school told MailOnline: ‘We have been shocked and distressed to learn of these charges. The safety and wellbeing of our pupils is, and always will be, our top priority.

‘As there are ongoing criminal proceedings, it would be inappropriate to comment further at the this time other than to say that there is no suggestion the offences relate to Mr Smith’s employment at Thomas’s or to any current or former pupils.

‘As soon as the school learned of the charges, Mr Smith’s employment at the school, which commenced in September this year, was terminated with immediate effect.’ 

Prior to his role at Thomas’s Battersea, Smith was assistant head teacher at the British School in Kathmandu, Nepal, for five years.

He also taught at St Paul’s School, and has degrees from both Oxford and Cambridge.

A source told MailOnline very few parents from the school had met him yet, given he was only employed by Thomas’s Battersea in September. 

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