Bristol child porn primary school teacher struck off indefinitely

He taught at a school in Southmead
Little Mead Primary Academy in Southmead Little Mead Primary Academy in Southmead
Little Mead Primary Academy in Southmead

A Bristol primary school teacher who sent videos of child abuse on social media has been struck off from the profession indefinitely.

Michael Bright, 33, who taught at Little Mead Primary Academy in Southmead, was convicted at Gloucester Crown Court in November 2021 of three counts of distributing indecent images of youngsters and was sentenced to 16 months in jail, suspended for two years.

Bright has now been banned from teaching, with no review period or right to reapply, by a Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) conduct panel.

The decision report said Bright joined a group on a social network site that had an interest in adult pornography and that some “indecent, unlawful images and videos became available” to him through that platform.

Someone in the group asked him for “material of an illegal nature” and he sent them four videos, the report said.

It said Bright’s explanation during the school’s disciplinary investigation was that he “didn’t feel like myself as I did it” and that he had “great remorse”.

But he insisted that it was “an entirely internet-based offence”.

The TRA report, following its decision on October 5, said: “The panel was concerned that Mr Bright appeared not to appreciate the impact on the children depicted in the images.

“The panel took into account that Mr Bright admitted his conduct to the police and pleaded guilty to the offence.

“The panel noted that the judge’s sentencing remarks referred to Mr Bright having contacted Stop It Now and that there were references before the court that viewed the behaviour as wholly out of character.

“His representative also stated that Mr Bright had been working with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation since his initial arrest. 

“The panel noted that the judge had concluded that, in light of the short period of offending, there was a real prospect of rehabilitation with the appropriate safeguards. 

“Whilst Mr Bright has expressed regret, the panel was concerned that Mr Bright described his conduct during the school’s disciplinary hearing as an ‘entirely internet-based offence’.

“The panel has seen no evidence of Mr Bright understanding the impact on children who are the victims of sexual exploitation.”

Upholding the panel’s recommendation on behalf of the Education Secretary, TRA chief executive Marc Cavey wrote: “In my judgement, the lack of full insight and remorse demonstrated, and particularly the lack of evidence that Mr Bright understands the potential real-world impact of his behaviour, means that there is some risk of repetition and this puts at risk the future wellbeing of pupils.”

At the 2021 court hearing, Bright, a phase leader at the school with six years’ teaching experience, was also ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work, 30 days’ rehabilitation, pay a £156 victim surcharge and £425 costs and was given a five-year sexual harm prevention order and placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

He was living in Weston-super-Mare at the time of sentence, having moved from Dursley.

The school has been asked for a comment.

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