Teacher sacked for allowing pupils to pose topless says the project was ‘art’

A teacher who was sacked for allowing her female students to pose topless in class has slammed the decision because the project was "art."

Emma Wright, 41, has been banned from teaching for two years after she let her 15-year-old pupils smoke, simulate masturbation and make offensive gestures in uniform.

The Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) said she had broken safeguarding rules after overseeing the class for an art project at Huxlow Science College in Northamptonshire.

But Mrs Wright has since hit out at the agency and said there is a "deep injustice" with their decision.

Despite disagreeing with their choice, the former teacher will not appeal because the incident has put her off teaching for good.

Mrs Wright, who now runs a care home, told Sun Online: “I have written to my MP, the union and the Education Minister regarding this. I am a good person. I am not the person they are making out to be.

“I really feel very strongly about it. I am really quite upset about it. It is a position I never thought I would be in.

“Those students were wonderful students. I have no bad feelings towards those students at all.”

The 41-year-old was initially reported to the TRA by the school's head of art and design, who had come across the teenagers' work portfolio in 2018.

Mrs Wright has taught the subject at the school since 2004 and said she has complained to Government officials following the incident.

Mrs Wright admitted that she did show students a new artist with "suggestive pictures" but said that she never told them to design similar pieces.

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She believed the artists' work was not sexual in nature but says she understood that she should have informed her class that the images were not appropriate.

The care worker added: “I am hoping the local community are as shocked as I am, and as sad and angry. They know me. I have taught in that school for a long time.

“So I am hoping that I will be fairly represented because it is quite hurtful.”

Decision-maker Alan Meyrick said: "Whilst the panel was satisfied that there was a low risk of repetition, it did not find that Mrs Wright had fully reflected on the safeguarding implications of allowing pupils to take photographs of themselves or others in a state of undress.

"The risk of harm, due to the lack of safeguarding pupils, was a significant factor in forming that opinion.

"In my view, it is necessary to impose a prohibition order in order to maintain public confidence in the profession."

Mrs Wright cannot apply for a review of her ban until 2024.

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