PE teacher, 32, jailed for having ‘intense and passionate’ affair with female pupil, 16, banned from teaching for life

18 March 2024, 15:02

Erin Hebblewhite
Erin Hebblewhite. Picture: Met Police

By Kieran Kelly and Christian Oliver

A female PE teacher who was jailed for having an 'intense and passionate' affair with a 16-year-old pupil has now been banned from teaching for life.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Erin Hebblewhite, who was 29 when she was jailed, kissed a female pupil at Connaught School for Girls in Leyton, east London, just months after being nominated for teacher of the year.

A teaching misconduct panel has now banned her from returning to the classroom for life.

Hebblewhite was jailed for two years in November 2021 and handed down a ten-year restraining order. The disgraced teacher admitted to a total of seven criminal charges.

Read More: Drivers like Katie Price should be jailed for repeat bans, says furious Tory MP

Read More: 'Crossbow sniper' suspect, 47, arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after double Shoreditch attack

Amid the "intense and passionate" affair, rumours were spreading around the school. Senior staff at the school believed the rumours to be untrue, however, and warned the teacher "she could get into trouble" if she was not "careful".

The victim lost her virginity to Hebblewhite in a restaurant bathroom on one occasion and, separately, was forced into having sex with her in Primark toilets, The Mirror reported.

The victim also said Hebblewhite was the first person that she kissed.

The relationship was uncovered when the girl's mother took her phone and discovered explicit messages. Hebblewhite had previously tried to encourage the young girl to delete the messages.

A subsequent search of the disgraced teacher's home uncovered a USB stick filled with hundreds of images of the two together, naked in bed.

The teaching misconduct panel has now found four allegations proved - two of child sexual activity, another of sexual activity in the presence of a child, and one of making an indecent photograph of a child.

Concluding his decision, Marc Cavey said: "The panel finds that the conduct of Ms Hebblewhite fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession," MailOnline reported.

"The findings of misconduct are particularly serious as they involve direct sexual activity with a child which included the making of indecent images and ultimately led to a sentence of imprisonment."

He said the former teacher had shown no remorse and was "incompatible with being a teacher".

"This means that Ms Erin Hebblewhite is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children's home in England.

"Furthermore, in view of the seriousness of the allegations found proved against her, I have decided that Ms Hebblewhite shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of her eligibility to teach."

It comes after Hebblewhite was jailed for two years in November 2021, where she was also handed down a 10-year restraining order and a sexual harm-preventing order.

She was also banned from making contact with the victim.

Connaught School was approached for comment.