Teacher caught in hot tub as 'personal' excuse spectacularly backfires

·3-min read

If you're going to lie to your boss to go on a holiday, make sure you don't post about it on social media. 

One teaching assistant is learning that lesson the hard way after faking "compassionate leave" from her school in Wales to go on a romantic Italian getaway.

Not only was she sprung for her ill-fated sickie, but she's now made global headlines after the deception spectacularly blew-up in her face.

The young woman was caught when colleagues saw her Roman holiday snaps on Facebook, a misconduct panel at the school heard.

Ella Griffith, 25, was pictured posing at the Colosseum, Vatican City and the Forum on the romantic break instead of being in class.

Ms Griffith told staff she needed two and half days off from her primary school in the Welsh town of Holyhead because she had a "serious personal matter at home". However she was then snapped dining out, drinking cocktails and relaxing in a hot tub.

Photos showed her dining out, drinking cocktails and relaxing in a hot tub. Source: Australscope
Photos showed her dining out, drinking cocktails and relaxing in a hot tub. Source: Australscope

A misconduct panel heard how she used the long weekend to fly to Italy with her boyfriend who later posted their holiday pictures online.

The Education Workforce Council heard Ms Griffith was employed as a learning support assistant working 30 hours weeks at Ysgol Cybi school in Holyhead, Anglesey.

Headteacher Rhian Grieve said Ms Griffith asked for some time off just days after schools returned in September last year following closures due to the pandemic.

"She spoke with me on September 17, 2020, and asked to leave early the following day and return on September 23," Ms Grieve said. 

"The situation appeared critical in that Ella Griffith's family needed her and she requested compassionate leave."

The headteacher said she was alerted by other staff members that Ms Griffith's boyfriend posted pictures of them posing in front of a Roman fountain.

The teaching assistant faked compassionate leave but has ended up making headlines for the sickie. Source: Australscope
The teaching assistant faked compassionate leave but has ended up making headlines for the sickie. Source: Australscope

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 Ms 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 about 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.

Ms Griffith, who was not at the hearing and has since left the school, is accused of five misconduct allegations.

If found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct she faces being struck from the teaching register.

The hearing, held via Zoom, continues.

Australscope

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