South East Wales

Caerphilly teacher's ban after shower with pupil

Debbie Lloyd-Jones
Image caption Debbie Lloyd-Jones left the school in 2007 and now is a freelance musician

A teacher who shared a shower with teenage girls before a school musical has been struck off for four years.

Debbie Lloyd-Jones, 29, denied inappropriate relationships with girls, aged 13 to 16, at Oakdale comprehensive, Caerphilly.

The ex-music head, now a trumpeter, also sent a pupil 1,100 texts.

The General Teaching Council of Wales said no sexual activity took place but the ban reflected the case's "seriousness."

Her union said her actions were unwise but not sordid.

The disciplinary hearing was told Mrs Lloyd-Jones bought teddy bears, perfume and jewellery for girl pupils at the high school.

Chairman John Collins ruled it was "inappropriate behaviour" for Mrs Lloyd-Jones to have showered, wearing a bikini, with girls before a school show.

He said: "Although no sexual activity took place, this was inappropriate involvement with pupils who were using the showers."

He added: "We are not satisfied she doesn't pose a significant risk of repeating her behaviour.

"Her conduct was fundamentally incompatible with continuing to be a registered teacher."

Mrs Lloyd-Jones, who did not attend the hearing, was found guilty of three charges of inappropriate behaviour and put under a four-year prohibition order suspending her from teaching until 2014.

Mr Collins said the normal prohibition period was two years but it was doubled because "of the seriousness of the case."

'Appalling'

Mrs Lloyd-Jones had left the school in September 2007 and was no longer employed by Caerphilly education authority. She is now a freelance trumpeter.

NASUWT union official David Browne, who represented the former teacher, said that she had been unwise and shown poor judgement in showering with pupils.

But he added that her actions had been portrayed as some sort of sordid act.

"She has not tried to conceal what she has done," said Mr Browne.

"This is not a teacher seen as being incompetent. She was very enthusiastic and hard-working.

"She has been branded a paedophilic lesbian - the consequences for her and her family have been appalling."

Mr Browne said Mrs Lloyd-Jones bought the two girls gifts "as part of the musical process to encourage pupils' performance."

Image caption The school said it did not shy away from its responsibilities

He said: "She made a massive contribution to the extra curricular programme."

The tribunal was told she could have used separate staff shower cubicles but chose to wash in the girls showers.

'Very rare'

The hearing was told of text messages from Mrs Lloyd-Jones saying: "I love you" and "I love you lots" to the two girls.

Between March and May 2007, Mrs Lloyd-Jones sent Pupil B 1,124 text messages, 25 picture messages and 44 phone calls.

The messages included: "Don't forget 2005 was the year that you met me and 2006 was something special for me too" and "You are one of the best things that has happened to me. Love you xx."

Mrs Lloyd-Jones, who is currently working as a freelance musician, denied behaving unacceptably - but admitted sending two girls messages with "inappropriate content, language or context".

In a statement published on the Oakdale comprehensive school website headteacher Chris David commented: "I would like to reassure all parents that at no point did the school shy away from its responsibilities to protect and care for its pupils.

"It is also important to stress that Mrs. Debbie Lloyd-Jones has not taught at the school since 1 September 2007.

"I assure you that if an issue of this nature ever occurs again, which I am glad to say is very rare, we as a school will not hesitate, as in this case, to take swift action in the interests of our pupils and the whole school community."

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