Knox claims 'gold standard' after charge

Heather McNab
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NICHOLAS WARBY COURT

Nicholas Warby has been charged with possessing child abuse material and prohibited drugs

An exclusive Sydney boys' school insists it has the "gold standard for protection" of students after one of its teachers was charged with possessing child pornography.

Detectives were called to Knox Grammar School at Wahroonga on Monday afternoon after "a large number of child abuse images" were allegedly found on a phone left at the school's aquatic centre.

Nick Warby, 30, was arrested and taken to Hornsby Police Station while officers searched his home and seized a number of electronic devices.

It's alleged drugs including ice and GHB were found in Warby's car.

In a letter to parents, Knox headmaster Scott James said the staff member had been removed from his duties at the aquatic centre.

"A colleague discovered inappropriate internet images on a mobile phone which we believe belongs to the staff member," Mr James wrote in Tuesday's letter seen by AAP.

"Police were alerted. They have advised us that there is currently no suggestion the images relate to Knox boys or swim centre students."

The school was recognised as "the gold standard for protection of those in our care" and wouldn't hesitate to contact the police and dismiss staff who didn't follow the code of conduct and the law, Mr James said.

Knox was heavily criticised in 2016 by the child abuse royal commission which heard five teachers had been charged and later convicted of child sex offences against students.

Warby appeared at Hornsby Local Court on Tuesday and was granted bail. He's due back in court on August 27.

His solicitor, Philip Cox, said Warby had no prior criminal offences and had the support of his mother and father, who were in court.

The 30-year-old was ordered not to approach Knox staff or students and to surrender all mobile phones, computers and smart devices.

He's barred from using the internet or any form of social media.

As well as the mobile found at the aquatic centre, police seized three more phones, six USBs and a laptop from Warby's home and car, the court heard.

Warby has been the director of aquatic sports at Knox since 2017.

He describes himself online as a "friendly and enthusiastic educator with a passion for promoting sport and physical activity amongst young people".

He studied health education at Sydney University after attending Sydney Church of England Grammar School - or Shore - at North Sydney.

Warby is a surf lifesaver and has won state and national medals for the Queenscliff club and revived Knox's lifesaving program with Whale Beach SLSC.

He is also a volunteer with the NSW Rural Fire Service.