Bolton teacher Clare Griffiths let pupil sleep at her home after Alton Towers trip, tribunal hears

Teacher is banned from teaching after allowing a pupil to sleep at her home

The teacher took two pupils to Alton Towers (Getty)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A teacher who let a pupil stay at her home overnight has been banned for a minimum of two years.

Clare Griffiths, who taught at Harper Green Secondary School in Bolton, allowed the female pupil to stay the nght on at least one occasion, as well as taking her and another student to Alton Towers.

A disciplinary panel convened by the National College for Teaching and Leadership heard that Griffiths emailed the student, known as Pupil A, excessively and informally, including late at night and at weekends. The correspondence took place during the 2013-14 school year, when the pupil was in year 11.

The panel also heard that Griffiths maintained the contact after Pupil A left school in 2014, and arranged the trip to Alton Towers that summer.

In one of the emails, Mrs Griffiths wrote “Good girl (No [sic] how much you hate that!! )….Will you miss me of [sic] I am not in tomorrow?” The panel also noted that Griffiths used a broken heart emoji in one email, and referred to her own "mental state." 

Griffiths told Pupil A and her fellow student that the visit was part of an official school trip during the summer holidays. The pupils were invited on the trip using school letter-headed paper, which had not been approved by the school. 

One email to the student also contained a primary school intake list, providing details about pupils who would join the school from year six the following year.

In its summary, the panel concluded "that this case is one in which a review period would be appropriate and as such decided that it would be proportionate in all the circumstances for the prohibition order to be recommended with provisions for a review for a period of 2 years.

"The panel considers that this should allow Mrs Griffiths the opportunity to reflect on her own behaviour and to take steps to modify her relationships with pupils to be within the standards expected of a teacher and to maintain appropriate boundaries."