Primary school teacher struck off over Instagram sexual innuendo messages

Woman holding phone displaying Instagram logo Image copyright PA
Image caption A teaching misconduct panel heard Kay Elizabeth Hollingsworth's Instagram posts were inappropriate and serious

A primary school teacher who sent Instagram messages filled with "sexual innuendo" to an 11-year-old pupil has been banned from teaching indefinitely.

Kay Elizabeth Hollingsworth, 31, told the boy she was "single and ready to mingle" and "about to have a shower".

She was dismissed from the school in Braintree, Essex, last May, for gross misconduct.

A teaching misconduct panel found her behaviour was "inappropriate and serious" but said she showed remorse.

Other messages sent to the 11-year-old included: "U probs distracted thinking about how fabulous I am" and "Going to bed now dimples xx".

She admitted asking his parents - who had found out about the messages - not to tell the school.

As well as the Instagram conversations with the boy, she had also exchanged Snapchat messages with a former pupil.

'Career in ruins'

Alan Meyrick, deputy director of the National College of Teaching and Leadership, said Ms Hollingsworth recognised "she had acted in violation of her position" by asking the 11-year-old's parents not to say anything.

In a statement, she 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."

Mr Meyrick said her conduct was "a serious departure from the personal and professional conduct elements of Teachers Standards".

Ms Hollingsworth can seek to have the ban lifted after two years, and is able to appeal against it at the High Court.

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