Teacher banned from profession for sending sexy Instagram messages to a primary school pupil
- Credit: Su Anderson
A primary school teacher who sent sexy Instagram messages to a child has been banned indefinitely from the country’s classrooms for “unacceptable professional conduct.”
Among other things Kay Elizabeth Hollingsworth, 31, who taught at Notley Green Primary School at Braintree, said in an exchange with the pupil – “About to have a shower # mental image for you lol” – “U probs distracted thinking about how fabulous I am” – “Going to bed now dimplesxx” – “I split up with that guy back in October so I’m single and ready to mingle lol.”
And she had later asked the child’s parents who had found out about the exchanges not to tell the school.
However, she admitted to a teachers disciplinary panel which dealt with her case in Coventry that she was guilty of the behaviour she was accused of.
She was banned from teaching on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan.
The National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) panel ruled that it was both “proportionate and appropriate” to ban her and that her conduct could bring the teaching profession into disrepute.
As well as the exchanges with the child, who was under 12, she referred to as “dimples” she also had Snapchat exchanges with a former pupil. She was dismissed from the school in May last year for gross misconduct.
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In its findings the NCTL panel says she was a ‘phase leader’ and class teacher at the school.
They say: “By sending messages to a pupil, including some messages containing sexual innuendo which could have been confusing to the pupil, Miss Hollingsworth failed in her position of responsibility to that pupil and her obligation to safeguard pupils’ well-being.”
However, the findings say that she had “shown remorse for her actions” and that after admitting what she had done had said she would “forever regret the actions that I took.”
In a statement she had said: “I am shocked and horrified by what I wrote, putting the pupil in an inappropriate position, the school’s reputation in jeopardy and my own career, [to] which I have dedicated nine successful years, in ruin.”
Imposing the ban on behalf of the education secretary, Alan Meyrick, deputy director of the NCTL said the conduct of Miss Hollingsworth “was a serious departure from the personal and professional conduct elements of Teachers Standards.”
He continued: “The nature of the conversations passing between Miss Hollingsworth and Pupil A (which included sexual references and innuendo) and the age of Pupil A, pushed the behaviour over the boundary of seriousness.
“I agree with the panel that most parents of primary school children would think Miss Hollingsworth’s behaviour was inappropriate and serious.”
He said he supported the panel’s recommendation that she should be banned from teaching but also supported their recommendation that the way should be left open to her to seek to return to teaching in the future.
He ruled that she can seek to have the ban lifted after two years but made it clear that she would have to convince another NCTL panel that she was fit to return to the classroom before the ban would be lifted,
It is open to her to appeal to the High Court against the ban.