‘Who lied’ so she could go on vacation was ‘caught out by Facebook photos,’ according to a teaching assistant.
Ella Griffith is said to have begged her boss for time off just days after school resumed in September last year, claiming it was for a situation that “appeared to be critical” – but was actually for a trip, according to a hearing.
A misconduct panel heard that a teaching assistant lied about needing time off so she could go on a romantic getaway, but that she was caught by colleagues who saw her vacation photos.
Ella Griffith, 25, is accused of falsifying “compassionate leave” from her Welsh school in order to travel to Rome with her boyfriend.
The assistant told her boss she had a “serious personal matter at home,” but was later seen visiting tourist attractions instead of going to work, according to the hearing.
The panel was also told how the 25-year-old had pleaded with her headteacher for two and a half days off, which she used to accompany her partner to the Colosseum, Vatican City, and the Forum.
The primary school teacher was photographed eating pasta, drinking cocktails, and relaxing in a hot tub while her school took on the burden of her absence.
Miss Griffith worked as a learning support assistant at Ysgol Cybi school in Holyhead, Anglesey, for 30 hours per week.
“She spoke with me on September 17, 2020, and requested to leave early the next day and return on September 23,” her headteacher Rhian Grieve said.
“The situation appeared to be critical, as Ella Griffith’s family required her assistance, and she requested compassionate leave.”
Miss Griffith’s boyfriend posted pictures of them posing in front of a Roman fountain, according to Ms Grieve, who was alerted by other staff members.
The couple was also photographed in an ice bar, riding e-scooters through the city, and taking various sightseeing photos.
According to the Education Workforce Council, when Miss Griffith was confronted about her absence upon her return, she initially lied, claiming that she had flown to Italy over the weekend.
Miss Griffith was asked to provide her airline tickets as proof, according to Ms Grieve, but later “admitted she’d lied about the length of time she’d been gone.”
She then failed to show up to school for the next two days, according to the panel, texting bosses to say she wouldn’t be in but not calling.
Miss Griffith, who will not be present at the hearing and has since left the school, has been charged with five counts of misconduct.
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