Teacher given ban

A shamed teacher who quit his post at a Deeside secondary school after being convicted of attacking a child has been banned from the classroom for two years.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 20th July 2012, 10:19 am

Ian Thom voluntarily removed himself from the teaching register last week - amid allegations that his fitness to teach was impaired after the assault on an 11-year-old in a house at Westhill.

The 55-year-old, who taught at Banchory Academy, admitted the attack at Aberdeen Sheriff Court last year, as well as a drink-driving charge.

Mr Thom resigned from his post in the school’s English department in January while the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) and his employer, Aberdeenshire Council, assessed his ability to continue.

He had been due to appeare befor the GTCS for a disciplinary hearing on July 19, but instead his solicitor presented a note outlining his willingness to remove himself from the teaching register. Mr Thom will now be unable to apply for teaching jobs for two years - the maximum ban available.

When he appeared in court last year, he admitted attacking the child by seizing him by the clothing and pushing him against a door at an address in Westhill on June 18.

He also admitted driving a car with 78 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. Over double the legal limit of 35mcg.

Mr Thom, of Brimmond Drive, Westhill, was fined £750 and banned from driving for 15 months.

The Crown accepted his plea of not guilty to a further charge of behaving in a threatening manner by repeatedly shouting and swearing.

At the disciplinary hearing in Edinburgh last Thursday, the panel considered a letter from Mr Thom waiving his right to a hearing and once again admitting the offences relating to his fitness to teach.

He wrote: “I freely and willingly consent to being removed from the register in view of my admission of the allegations and understand that I will be prohibited from applying for restoration to the register for a period of two years from the date of removal.”

After last year’s court case, the GTCS confirmed it would have been informed of the conviction immediately. The watchdog’s code of professionalism and conduct states that registered teachers need to be “mindful” of regulations “within and outwith the classroom”.