Art teacher sacked after letting 15-year-old pupils pose topless and smoke

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An art teacher who allowed 15-year-old pupils to pose topless and simulate masturbation at school has been sacked.

Emma Wright, 41, also let her students smoke, pose in swimwear and make offensive gestures in uniform.

She has now been banned from teaching indefinitely after overseeing the class for a school art project at Huxlow Science College in Northamptonshire.

Mrs Wright was struck off after the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) decided she had broken safeguarding rules.

She had initially been reported to the TRA in 2018 by the school's head of art and design, who had come across the teenagers' portfolios of work.

Defending herself to the panel, Mrs Wright said she had introduced the pupils to a new artist who created "suggestive pictures" but insisted that she never told the students to create similar work.

She added that she did not deem the artist's work to be sexual in nature, but accepted that she should have told the pupils their photographs were not appropriate.

Mrs Wright was found to have committed a serious breach of professional teaching standards while failing to safeguard pupils' well-being with decision-maker Alan Meyrick concluding: "Whilst the panel was satisfied that there was a low risk of repetition, it did not find that Mrs Wright had fully reflected on the safeguarding implications of allowing pupils to take photographs of themselves or others in a state of undress.

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"The risk of harm, due to the lack of safeguarding pupils, was a significant factor in forming that opinion.

"In my view, it is necessary to impose a prohibition order in order to maintain public confidence in the profession."

Despite being under instructions from the school not to discuss her suspension, the panel also heard that Mrs Wright informed a colleague of her situation.

Mrs Wright cannot apply for a review of her ban until 2024.

  • Teenagers
  • Students
  • Swimwear

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