Harrow School bosses have backed former Miss Northern Ireland art teacher Joanne Salley, following relevations that topless pictures of her were circulated among pupils.
Joanne Salley, a former model and TV presenter, was photographed in at least two provocative shots wearing just a pair of light-blue jeans.
Headteacher Barnaby Lenon 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 girlfriend of England rugby star and TV presenter Matt Dawson, was reportedly escorted away in tears after the pictures were passed among the 825 schoolboys.
According to reports from the school, the photos came to light just as boys were about to sit GCSE art exams.
The pictures were taken by Fiona Corthine, within the grounds of the school where she and Miss Salley both live, in what a school spokeswoman suggested was an "art project". She said the pictures were stolen by a pupil, who is thought to have found them on a memory stick in the photography laboratory.
The pictures were said to have been left on a memory stick in the photographic studio and were discovered by a pupil. It’s thought they may also have been sent to another school she taught at.
Head Barnaby Lenon was quoted as saying: “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 photographer who also teaches at the school.”
The school was unable to confirm Miss Salley's whereabouts on Friday, adding: "They're on end-of-term timetable. I have no idea whether she is teaching or not - she may not have had any classes in her timetable but if she's supposed to teach, she's probably teaching."
Harrow School, founded in 1572, has male pupils aged from 13-18.