Teaching assistant, 25, who faked compassionate leave but was caught when her boyfriend posted Facebook pictures of their holiday in Rome, faces being struck off
- Ella Griffith, 25, was a teaching assistant at Ysgol Cybi school in Anglesey, Wales
- She pleaded with her boss for compassionate leave to deal with a family matter
- Teachers then spotted her on Facebook on holiday in Rome with her boyfriend
- Miss Griffith faces five counts of misconduct and could be struck off register
A teaching assistant who faked compassionate leave was spotted on Facebook relaxing in a hot tub and drinking cocktails on holiday in Rome, a misconduct panel heard.
Ella Griffith, 25, told bosses at Ysgol Cybi primary school in Holyhead, Anglesey, that she needed to take two and a half days off in September last year to deal with ‘a serious matter at home’.
It came just days after the start of the new term following a long period of disruption due to Covid-19.
But Miss Griffith was apparently caught out when her boyfriend posted pictures of them online at the Colosseum, Vatican City and the Forum during a romantic break in Italy.
Colleagues reported the images to the school’s headteacher, who said she spent days attempting to get a clear answer from Miss Griffith about what was going on.
The ex-teaching assistant now faces five counts of unacceptable professional conduct relating to her unauthorised break and faces being struck off as a registered teacher.
Miss Griffiths and her boyfriend were later spotted on Facebook posing outside the Trevi Fountain in Rome, which famously featured in the films ‘La Dolce Vita’ and ‘Roman Holiday’
The couple were pictured together in the centre of the Piazza del Popolo, posing in front of the Flaminian Obelisk
Other pictures included the couple drinking in an ice bar, riding on e-scooters through the city and various sightseeing snaps
When Miss Griffith (pictured on holiday) was confronted about her absence upon returning, she initially lied saying she had flown to Italy over the weekend
The Education Workforce Council heard Miss Griffith was employed as a learning support assistant working 30 hours a week at the school.
Headteacher Rhian Grieve said Miss Griffith had requested some time off just days after schools returned in September last year following lengthy closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ms Grieve said: ‘She spoke with me on September 17, 2020, and asked to leave early the following day and return on September 23.
‘The situation appeared critical in that Ella Griffith’s family needed her and she requested compassionate leave.’
Miss Griffiths had not participated in the hearing into her alleged misconduct
The headteacher said she was alerted by other staff members that Miss Griffith’s boyfriend had posted pictures of them posing together in front of the Trevi Fountain in Rome, famously featured in the 1960 film ‘La Dolce Vita’.
Other pictures included the couple drinking in an ice bar, riding on e-scooters through the city and various sightseeing snaps.
She said that when Miss Griffith was confronted about her absence upon returning, she initially lied saying she had flown to Italy over the weekend.
Ms Grieve said Miss Griffith was asked to provide her airline tickets as proof but then later ‘confessed she’d lied at the length of time away.’
The panel heard she then failed to turn up to the school for the following two days – texting bosses to say she wouldn’t be in but not phoning.
Miss Griffith was not at the hearing and has since left the school.
She is accused of five misconduct allegations relating to her time away and the subsequent days after.
Ella Griffith (pictured on holiday) asked bosses at Ysgol Cybi primary school in Holyhead, Anglesey, to take the two and a half days off to deal with ‘a serious matter at home’
The ex-teaching assistant (pictured on holiday) now faces five counts of unacceptable professional conduct relating to her unauthorised break and faces being struck off as a registered teacher
She has not entered any pleas to the allegations and is not present.
If found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct she faces being struck from the teaching register.
The hearing, held via Zoom, continues.