A TEACHER convicted of downloading indecent images of children being abused by adults has been temporarily suspended from stepping back into the classroom.
Primary school teacher Colin Chisholm admitted possessing child porn and being “sexually attracted” to children at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in August.
Last week he was spared jail and instead given a three year community pay back order and placed on the sex offenders register.
But today (Mon) he was temporarily suspended by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).
Jennifer MacDonald, representing the GTCS, said that they had received a form from Chisholm saying that “he accepts that there is a prima face case against him” and that he should be “temporarily suspended”.
But she added that he wanted to point out that “the images were at the lowest end of the spectrum and didn’t affect the way that he did his job”.
Linda Gray, convenor of the hearing, said: “The decision of this panel is to impose a temporary suspension.”
She said that the reasons were because of “prima face evidence of crimes which might lead to Mr Chisholm’s name being removed from the register.”
She added that the nature of the crimes resulted in “child protection issues” and that Chisholm did not “oppose” temporary suspension nor would it be “detrimental to him”.
She said that Chisholm would receive written notice of the decision within seven days.
Chisholm, worked as a special needs teacher at St. Cuthbert’s RC primary school in Edinburgh.
He taught at four different schools during his career and was a scout leader for nine years.
He was teaching P1 to P3 classes when he was caught with images of children as young as six.
Chisholm was arrested in April of this year when police found three videos of child pornography on his computer.
One of the videos was 50 seconds long, while another was just over five minutes long.
The children involved in the videos were thought to have been between the ages of six and 12.
At the court hearing last week Mark Harrower, defence solicitor for the teacher, said that Chisholm had “lost his career” over the case.
Mr Harrower added: “The shame for him has been very public. In recent weeks he has lost a number of friends.”
Prior to his conviction, the teacher wrote a children’s guidebook to Edinburgh in 2008, which he researched with the help of children.
The guidebook, Edinburgh Unlocked, is a guide to the city for children and was researched with help from youngsters at his former primary school and a Cub Scout pack.
The book, published by Factfinders in 2010, has been taken off the shelves from all of its major distributors in light of Chisholm’s conviction.
Last week Joshua Perry, director of Edinburgh-based Fact Finders, said: “We are happy to confirm that this book has been withdrawn from the shelves.”
Mr Perry said: “The stock is now frozen and it is now at the discretion of the retailers to sell the last remaining copies of the book.
“Some stores may chose to return it, others may not.”