A former primary school teacher used his work laptop to search for "teen" pornography during lockdown, a disciplinary panel has heard.

Jonas Diete was a Year 6 teacher at Valley Primary Academy in Norwich when he used a school-issue laptop to search for a lewd term while working from home.

The former teacher told a Teaching Regulation Agency panel he had simply forgotten he was using his work computer - having already logged off from the online teaching system.

Eastern Daily Press: Jonas DieteJonas Diete (Image: Linked In)

Investigations were launched after the search term was picked up by the school's IT security system and the matter was referred to the police.

No illegal content was found on the laptop, but school bosses referred the matter to the disciplinary body for further investigation.

During a hearing, Mr Diete admitted to the search - but denied that the use of the phrase "teen" was to access underage pornography.

The panel report says: "Mr Diete denied this aspect and in his evidence, he stated that he only considered that the term related to those aged over 18 as this was a 'category' of pornography he had been on other websites before.

"His evidence suggested 'teen' was a category within other pornography, which related to a body type, rather than age group.

"He emphasised that when he had viewed pornography which was categorised as 'teen', this had always been accompanied by a declaration that the images were of persons aged 18 and over."

Mr Diete's professional social media profile lists him as no longer working in the teaching profession - and states he stopped working at the school in the same month as the incident - July 2020.

Eastern Daily Press:

But the disciplinary panel stopped short of making an order preventing him from returning to the profession in the future - saying there was a "strong public interest" in retaining him in the profession.

The report states: "Despite the embarrassing nature of this incident, Mr Diete has not sought to minimise or hide his actions.

"This candidness has continued in his evidence before the panel and at this hearing.

"No doubt had been cast upon his abilities as an educator and there was evidence he was able to make a very valuable contribution to the profession.

"As Mr Diete's conduct related only to adult pornography and there was no evidence of illegal pornography on his devices, the panel was satisfied that it did not need to further consider the protection of pupils and the public."

'Blurred lines'

The incident happened on July 8, 2020, at 3.14pm, after Mr Diete had finished online teaching for the day.

He logged off of Google Classroom at 3.10pm and began browsing in an 'incognito' window and entered the search term into Yahoo.

Mr Diete told the panel he had not intended to use his work laptop for the search, which was similar in physical appearance to his personal device.

The panel recognised there had become a "blurring of the boundaries" between work and personal life during the lockdown.

And Hazel Cubbage, chief executive of the Heart Education Trust, which runs the school, said the case emphasised the added safeguarding difficulties schools had during this period.

She said: "There is no greater priority in our academies than the safety of our children.

"I am particularly grateful to the member of staff who carried out this investigation and attended the panel to give evidence - which was a gruelling experience."

She added: "Those who believe it is appropriate to use school-owned devices for pornography searches - or indeed to use personal devices for accessing pornography during working hours or where those searches are prefaced by the word 'teen' - would be best to apply for employment elsewhere.

Mr Diete has been approached for comment.