A Beaconsfield teacher who was found by police to have indecent images of children in his possession has avoided disciplinary action.

Mr Lloyd Littlewood, who was head of the PE department at the all-girls Beaconsfield High School, was found guilty of ‘serious misconduct’ by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA).

The PE teacher was arrested on February 29, 2020, by Thames Valley Police after intelligence suggested that his IP address had uploaded an indecent image of a child to the Kik app.

The teacher, who was dismissed from work, denied that he had ever seen any indecent images of children. Forensic examinations of his devices revealed three such images but found that they were inaccessible.

Charges of possession and distribution of indecent photographs of children against Mr Littlewood were dropped after representations by his solicitors.

A professional conduct panel ruled last month that the PE teacher downloaded or received indecent images of children between an unknown date and May 7, 2019.

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Mr Littlewood, who was present for the hearing, was told that it could not be proven he had viewed three ‘Category C’ pictures on his device that were likely downloaded with the Kik messaging app.

A second allegation that the teacher distributed one or more indecent images of children could not be proven.

However, the panel found that the allegations amounted to both ‘unacceptable professional conduct’ and ‘conduct which may bring the profession into disrepute’.

Mr Littlewood denied the allegations, and did not admit to unacceptable professional conduct or conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.

The TRA decided not to impose a prohibition order on the teacher due to his positive teaching record and due to the nature and severity of his behaviour being ‘at the less serious end of the possible spectrum’.

The panel said that Mr Littlewood ‘fell significantly short’ of standards relating to teachers upholding public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour.

The TRA panel decision maker David Oatley said: “The panel was particularly concerned by the careless manner in which Mr Littlewood had accessed pornography, given his training with regard to safeguarding and child safety.

“It felt that there was an inherent risk in the manner in which the material was procured through the Kik app from strangers, and therefore could lead to pupils being exposed to behaviour that is harmful.”

The panel added that the teacher, who has since received ‘significant counselling’, experienced ‘difficult personal circumstances’ during the time of the incidents and said that he ‘may not have been thinking clearly’.

It also accepted Mr Littlewood’s evidence that his actions were not deliberate and found that he had ‘acted out of character’.

The TRA said it would not take disciplinary action against the teacher, explaining that there was a low risk of repetition, and that he ‘was clearly passionate about the teaching profession’.

The panel heard that Mr Littlewood had not been subject to any previous regulatory or criminal findings and noted that he had provided nine character references which spoke of him positively.

Beaconsfield High School has been approached for comment.