Teacher who sent lingerie pics to pupil and phoned him while drink-driving banned from classrooms

19 March 2024, 12:10

The King's School, Grantham
The King's School, in Grantham, Lincolnshire, is an 11–18 boys grammar school with academy status. Picture: Google Images

A former English teacher who worked at a prestigious all-boys secondary school in Grantham has been banned from the profession after sending a pupil racy pictures of her wearing lingerie and forming an "inappropriate relationship."

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Emma Houlihan, 28, was found to have kissed the pupil on school grounds as well as send them inappropriate messages and pictures.

She was also found to have failed to inform the school about her relationship with the pupil. She also failed to disclose a conviction for drink driving, a professional conduct panel found.

A report by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) said Ms Houlihan also phoned the pupil while drink driving.

Multiple allegations against Ms Houlihan were found proven following a professional conduct panel by the TRA, the results of which were released yesterday.

The King's School is a selective boys grammar school in Grantham
Notable former pupils of The King's School in Grantham include Isaac Newton. Picture: Google Images

The 21-page report into allegations and the subsequent outcome say Ms Houlihan called the pupil one morning "driving, upset" and told them she was drunk and that she had been pulled over for drink-driving by the police.

Ms Houlihan admitted she was convicted at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court for failing to provide a specimen for analysis on 3 December 2022.

The report added she was ordered to pay a fine of £1,100 and was disqualified from driving for 17 months.

Read more: Police refuse to investigate NHS worker who filmed and shared video of naked patient

She also admitted to kissing the pupil on school premises, including her classroom.

The pupil told the school in a previous meeting that Ms Houlihan had "goaded" on their kiss.

In a separate meeting with the school, the pupil outlined conversations with Ms Houlihan, either in person or electronically, which included conversations that were “adult in nature” and the exchange of “intimate messages”.

The panel also saw screenshots of text messages from Ms Houlihan which showed inappropriate conversations, with the former teacher saying she missed the pupil and asking them to stop being “tempting”.

Ms Houlihan had sent "inappropriate images" of herself to the pupil. A description of the images state she was wearing lingerie.

The King's School is an 11–18 boys grammar school with academy status
The King's School educates boys aged between 11 and 18. Picture: Google Images

The panel said it was satisfied Ms Houlihan's conduct fell significantly short of the standard of behaviour expected of a teacher.

Despite Ms Houlihan's resignation, the panel questioned the severity of the allegations and their implications for professional conduct and public trust in teaching.

The panel said it was not provided with evidence as to her level of insight or remorse over her actions.

'Risk of repetition'

“The lack of evidence of insight and remorse means that there is some risk of the repetition of this behaviour and this puts at risk the future wellbeing of pupils,” said the report.

"Accordingly, the panel made a recommendation to the Secretary of State that a prohibition order should be imposed with immediate effect," the report said.

"This means that Ms Emma Houlihan is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England," the report reads.

Read more: Inside wife's 20-year reign of terror on husband as she beat, bit and verbally abused him during drunken rampages

She may apply for the prohibition order to be set aside, but not until 2029.

If she does apply, a panel will meet to consider whether the prohibition order should be set aside. Without a successful application, she will remain prohibited from teaching indefinitely.

The King's School is a grammar school with academy status. On the website, it claims to have educated boys continuously for over 500 years.

Among the school's former alumni are Sir Isaac Newton and philosopher Henry More.

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