A TEACHER at Johnstone High who was sacked over “inappropriate” behaviour at a school prom has won a fight to save his career.
Richard Hutchison, 57, taught at the school for 34 years but was suspended and then dismissed after the prom incident saw him remove his trousers and kiss a pupil.
He claimed he “pecked” the boy on the cheek as part of a dare after getting drunk at the leavers’ event and sharing a hotel room with pupils on June 12, 2015.
Now the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) has ruled that Mr Hutchison is able to continue to teach.
Earlier this year, he appeared before a GTCS hearing into his controversial conduct.
It was stated that he had intended to drive home from the prom at the Burnhouse Manor Hotel, in Beith, but instead accepted an invitation from male pupils to sleep on their floor.
A photograph emerged the day after the event, showing Mr Hutchison sitting on a chair in his pants.
Mr Hutchison was suspended after the image was uploaded to mobile messaging service Snapchat.
At the GTCS hearing, Mr Hutchison admitted all of the charges against him.
However, he insisted he was not unfit to lead a classroom.
In its verdict, the GTCS stopped short of ending his career but ruled that his fitness to teach was impaired.
It placed restrictions on his registration for two years, which include continued psychological treatment.
The GTCS strongly criticised Mr Hutchison over his drunken conduct but concluded there was a low risk of it ever happening again.
It said it would be in the public interest not to kick him out of the profession.
The final decision report on the hearing noted: “The Panel took the view that the Respondent had been a highly-skilled and popular teacher who had played a full part in the life of the school.
“It was satisfied that he had kept up to date since he had not been working as a teacher. It would be in the public interest to retain him in the profession, provided appropriate safeguards could be put in place. There were conditions that could usefully be imposed."
Following Mr Hutchison’s suspension from the school, pupils set up an online petition to urge education chiefs to reinstate him.
He was sacked by Renfrewshire Council in 2015 following the incident.