A former East Ayrshire teacher has been given a second chance after facing allegations of 'sexually motivated' incidents at primary schools in the area.

Paul Graham, who now works at Parklands School, faced a General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC) hearing after incidents that were said to take place between August 2016 and on or around February 28, 2018.

Among the allegations were that Mr Graham was said to have acted inappropriately towards a colleague by rubbing his hand on her leg and disclosing sexually explicit details of his private life.

Other allegations included placing his arms around a colleague's shoulders, rubbing a colleague's shoulders and back and disclosing sexually explicit details of his private life.

The incidents were said to have happened whilst employed in various teaching roles by East Ayrshire Council, including at Bellsbank, Dalmellington and Shortlees Primary Schools.

In total, Mr Graham faced 17 allegations, two of which he denied - including that any of the allegations were made were of a sexually motivated nature.

The accused also denied kissing a colleague on the cheek. Mr Graham said he would admit to this allegation if it was clarified that the kiss was on the colleague's forehead, and not her cheek.

The hearing included 11 witness statements from those against Mr Graham.

One statement said: "The Teacher [Paul Graham] offered her [Witness 7] a lift, and whilst in the car, put his hand on her leg and started talking about his sex life.

"The teacher was talking about sexually explicit details while his hand was on her leg.

"The teacher rubbed her leg several times. Witness 7 felt very uncomfortable with this."

Another statement added: "Witness 6 spoke to feeling as though the teacher ‘crossed the line’ when he kissed her.

"She was standing with her back to the desk when the teacher came in and gave her a ‘cuddle’ by putting his hands right around her body, with his head next to hers.

"This lasted around five seconds. As he released from the ‘cuddle’, he kissed Witness 6 on the lips."

The hearing says that the accused did not believe his actions were sexually motivated, "but in retrospect sees that he was the one looking for comfort and reassurance and that he was projecting his own feelings onto his female colleagues".

It added: "The teacher described it coming as a shock when he was made aware of complaints against him in October 2016, and feeling uneasy that he had caused distress.

"He felt that he had good relationships with colleagues, and no one had raised any concerns with him directly."

The Panel deciding over the hearing said that "the teacher’s credibility and reliability were limited".

As the Panel found that the teacher’s fitness to teach was impaired, it required to determine which sanction was appropriate.

It was decided that a Conditional Registration Order (CRO) would be placed on the teacher's registration for a period of 18 months, effective from June 9, 2023.

Included in these were providing a written reflective account and have discussions on steps the teacher is taking to ensure he is maintaining professional boundaries.

An East Ayrshire Council  spokesperson said: "East Ayrshire Council does not normally comment on individual cases, to protect a person’s right to privacy.

"However, it can be confirmed that the individual concerned is no longer employed by the Council."