Leytonstone News

Leytonstone PE teacher who had sex with pupil banned from teaching for life

Erin Hebblewhite worked at Connaught School for Girls from 2016 until her suspension in 2018 for having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old pupil

By Marco Marcelline

Erin Hebblewhite, Credit: Met Police

A former PE teacher at a Leytonstone school who had sex with a teenage pupil has been barred from teaching for life.

Erin Hebblewhite, 32, worked at Connaught School for Girls in Leytonstone from 2016 until her suspension in 2018.

Hebblewhite was 29 when she was jailed for two years in November 2021 after she admitted to seven charges of using her position to groom and have sex with a female pupil.

The offending, which took place between January and November 2018, included sexual activity with a girl between the ages of 13 and 17, sexual activity in the presence of a child, and making an indecent photograph of a child.

When sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court in 2021, judge Neil Sanders imposed a 10-year restraining order and sexual harm preventing order that banned Hebblewhite from contacting the victim or working with children in any capacity.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that the former PE teacher took the girl’s virginity in a restaurant bathroom, and that her first kiss was with Hebblewhite. As the Evening Standard previously reported, the ex-teacher once tried to pressure the girl into having sex in Primark toilets, but the teen refused.

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In his sentencing, judge Sanders said the relationship had left the girl suicidal, stressed and anxious.

Hebblewhite’s actions were discovered when the teenager’s phone was seized by her mother and a family member found explicit messages.

The charges all happened in the same year that Hebblewhite was nominated for a teacher of the year award, Essex Live reports.

On 1st March, a Teaching Regulation Panel (TRA) panel decided that a teaching prohibition order for Hebblewhite should be imposed with immediate effect.

The ruling means she cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England ever again.

In its findings, the TRA said it saw “no compelling evidence” of remorse or insight from Hebblewhite in regards to her actions and concluded that that severity of the allegations “significantly outweighed” any public interest in her remaining in the profession.

Decision maker Marc Cavey wrote: “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.”

The Australian national has reportedly retrained in coding and web development and has advised Google on educational teaching programmes.

Connaught School for Girls did not respond to a request for comment.

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