Pupils ogle topless snaps of former Miss NI teacher
Published 01/04/2011 | 11:17
A female art teacher at a leading public school in Britain is said to be distraught after pupils found topless pictures of her on a memory stick left in a photography studio.
Joanne Salley, 32, from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, is a former Miss Northern Ireland and beauty queen but has taught at Harrow school for several years.
When the Cambridge graduate discovered the compromising pictures had been discovered and circulated throughout the £29,670-a-year school she was reportedly escorted home in tears.
The pictures were taken by Fiona Corthine, a fellow teacher, who is head of photography.
Mrs Corthine apparently left the memory stick in a school photographic studio where it was found by an inquisitive pupil who then wasted no time in showing his friends.
The photographs were seen by a large number of the school’s 825 pupils and were even sent to boys at the school Miss Salley had worked at previously, the independent Merchant Taylors’ School in Northwood, Herts.
One sixth former said: “She was topless. Everyone already thought Miss Salley was a babe anyway so naturally the photo went round the school like wildfire.”
Barnaby Lenon, the school’s head master, offered his support to Miss Salley, who is one of five art teachers at the school and a former girlfriend of Matt Dawson, the former England rugby player.
Mr Lennon said: “Joanne Salley is a long-standing and successful art teacher at Harrow who has, in the past, been a model. Photographs of her modelling were taken by a professional photographer who also teaches photography part-time at the school. These pictures were stolen and passed on to some pupils at the school without the agreement of the photographer, who holds the copyright. The matter is being investigated.”
The former Miss Northern Ireland has experience of attracting unwanted attention at Harrow where she taught several years ago before returning this academic year.
In 2006, she disclosed that two years previously one pupil had become rather too friendly. She said: “One of the boys kept sending me love letters, which wasn’t really appropriate. Another pupil used to turn up to my classes even though I didn’t teach him. When I got angry with him, he seemed to like me even more.”
During a subsequent break from teaching, Miss Salley worked for Comic Relief does Fame Academy and as a researcher for the BBC’s Hard Sell before joining Merchant Taylors’.
Mr Dawson once described Miss Salley as his “Irish lucky charm”. The couple dated for six years before separating in 2008.
Miss Salley, a trained ballet dancer and keen polo player, was crowned Miss Northern Ireland in 1998 and came runner up in the Miss UK pageant.
Both she and Mrs Corthine were unavailable for comment.
Before becoming a teacher, Miss Salley co-hosted The Big Breakfast with Johnny Vaughan on Channel Four and also starred in an advert for the Peugeot 106.
To help get over her 2008 split with Mr Dawson, she joined a five-month volunteer programme in Cambodia.
The pictures are understood to have come to light shortly before pupils took their GCSE art exams.
A source said Miss Salley was “very upset” and temporarily absent from the classroom.