A 28-year-old British teacher has been barred from teaching after she was accused of drunkenly having sex with a student in an airplane bathroom during the flight home from a school trip.
Eleanor Wilson, who worked in Bristol, was prohibited from teaching by a professional conduct panel this month after it found she was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and bringing the profession into disrepute through her “inappropriate relationship” with the student, who was between the ages of 16 and 18 , according to a report from the U.K. National College for Teaching and Leadership.
The decision was based on incidents that are alleged to have occurred on the return flight home from a school trip to Switzerland in July 2015. The accusations were uncovered by Wilson’s former school in August 2016 after a second student tried to blackmail her into having sex with him, according to documents released by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.
“As a teacher, Wilson was trusted by parents, her school and the local community to prioritise pupils’ welfare and wellbeing, but instead she abused this trust for her own sexual gratification,” a spokesman for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said in a statement to The Evening Standard. “Teachers have a key role in safeguarding, but this hearing has highlighted significant shortcomings in Wilson’s approach to this over an extended period of time. Her behaviour fell a long way short of expectations, and it is right that she has faced the consequences.”
The name of the school where Wilson worked and the victim’s identity have not been released in order to protect the boy. She was fired from the school, which then recommended her for discipline from the English teachers’ panel, according to the Daily Mail.
Wilson has denied the accusations and has said she only “hugged (the student) on occasion,” according to the report from the disciplinary panel.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Student Says He Drank 5 Miniature Bottles of Wine While Flirting With an ‘Intoxicated’ Wilson Before They ‘Entered the Toilet, Kissed & Had Oral Sex & Intercourse Without Using Protection’
Eleanor Wilson, a former teacher in Bristol, was accused of “unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute,” for her alleged inappropriate conduct with a student, according to a report released by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.
According to the report, she was accused of engaging in “inappropriate conduct” during a trip that occurred in July and August 2015 by consuming alcohol, permitting students to drink alcohol and by kissing, having oral sex and having sexual intercourse with a student.
The student told the panel that during the flight home on August 2, 2015, “he and Miss Wilson were flirting at the back of the plane, whilst looking after another pupil who was unwell. Pupil A gave evidence that Miss Wilson was intoxicated and that he had himself drunk approximately 5 miniature bottles of wine on the flight.”
The student told the board, “he and Miss Wilson entered the toilet, kissed and had oral sex and intercourse without using protection.”
She is also accused of engaging in an inappropriate relationship with the student in 2015 and 2016 by meeting with him on a one to one basis in her office, giving him her mobile number and exchanging text messages, regularly communicating with him outside of school, disclosing to him personal details of her life, taking on him on “one or more outings,” kissing him and touching him, “including rubbing his leg,” according to the report. The panel said that it was proved her conduct was “sexually motivated.”
Wilson is also accused of lying about her relationship by telling the school’s principal that she had not been meeting with the boy outside of school, “when in fact she had been,” and saying “she had not had sexual intercourse” with the student, “when in fact she had,” the report says.
Wilson also asked the student to “keep their relationship secret” and “to deny their relationship if asked about it,” the panel says. Her actions were “dishonest in trying to conceal her relationship.”
The 3-person panel held its disciplinary meeting on Wilson from July 10 to 11. She did not attend and was not represented. Its findings were released July 26. You can read the panel’s full decision below or by clicking here:
Wilson did not reply to requests from the panel for her to attend to give her side of the story, so they only had her statements from the school’s investigation into the incidents as her side of the story, according to report.
The school’s headteacher first learned of allegations involving Wilson in September 2015, but the student’s name was not known and there was no corroborating evidence, so nothing was done, according to the report. Then, in March 2016, Wilson received emails from another student, Pupil C, telling her that he knew about the “sexual relationship” with the first boy, Pupil A. He said he “would inform the school unless she engaged in sexual conduct with him.” The emails were sent to the police and the school.
“The allegations of a relationship with Pupil A were further investigated by the school, and Miss Wilson was dismissed in May 2016,” according to the report.
Pupil A testified before the disciplinary panel this July and provided them with evidence. It “found Pupil A to be a credible, reliable witness. On the balance of probabilities it is believed that the matters set out … were more likely than not to have occurred.” The panel also said that though “Miss Wilson denied (Pupil A’s) allegation in its entirety,” during the school investigation, “the panel considered all of the evidence, and after hearing his oral evidence and having the opportunity to test it, preferred the evidence of Pupil A.”
According to the report, Wilson “impressed upon” Pupil A “the importance of keeping their relationship secret” and told him “it would be best for him to delete their text message history.”
Wilson said during the school investigation that she couldn’t remember if she drank alcohol with Pupil A outside the school, but thought she had. She also said she had “hugged Pupil A on occasion but nothing further happened.”
Wilson sent a letter to the school in 2016 “in which she confirmed she knew that her actions in dealing with Pupil A were inappropriate and she was sorry for any upset she had caused.”
2. Wilson Called the Trip to Geneva to See the Large Hadron Collider a ‘Real Source of Inspiration for Our Young People’
The incident on the plane happened after a trip of students to the CERN nuclear complex in Geneva, Switzerland, where the Large Hadron Collider is, in 2015.
“Visitors are not able to view the collider itself but we were able to see fascinating areas such as the cryogenic cooling facility and the accelerator complex,” Ellie Wilson said in a school newsletter about the trip. “It was hugely beneficial for the students to meet some of the physicists who work at CERN … and the trip will provide a real source of inspiration for our young people as they continue with their studies and think about future career paths.”
The trip included Year 12 and Year 13 students.
Wilson had worked for the school since 2013 as a physics teacher. The school fired Wilson in 2016.
“We unreservedly condemn Ms Wilson’s actions. Her conduct represents a shocking abuse of her position of trust as a teacher,” a school spokesman told The Sun. “On discovering what had taken place, she was immediately suspended and we conducted a thorough investigation that resulted in her subsequent dismissal.
“We then referred the case to the National College, who have prohibited her from teaching permanently. We welcome this decision. None of the incidents described took place on school property,” the school spokesman said.
Wilson’s brother defended her in an interview with The Daily Mail, saying that she was not fired, but left the school on her own.
“She left because of all the hassle she was getting from the younger students. She mutually left the school but nothing sexually happened with the student,” Jethro Wilson told the newspaper.
3. Her Brother Says She Was ‘Blackmailed’ by a Student Who Was Sending Her Explicit Photos & Is a ‘Victim of Being Good Looking’
Ellie Wilson’s brother, Jethro, told The Telegraph that his sister was framed by the student who was sending her emails. He said that she was previously “hassled” by male students and “is a victim of being good looking.”
He told the newspaper:
I know they made it up, because he blackmailed her. They made the story up and made it sound good. These teachers work hard all their life and go through years of courses and all it takes is one student to bring them down.
There’s no doubt about it – he had a crush on her. They were away on an educational school trip and she didn’t want anything to do with them, so they made stories up about her.
She’d already had enough of students giving her hassle because she was good looking. Good looking teachers get picked out by students and they get hard done by.
Jethro said the accusations against his sister were made after she reported explicit photos sent to her by the student.
““I couldn’t believe it, she told me this student was sending her pictures, which she turned around and sent to the school. He was sending her explicit images, and she told the school what happened,” he told The Telegraph.
He told The Sun that nothing happened.
“They should have stuck with the police, they took all her phones, all her messages and if they would have found something on there they would have found it,” the brother told The Sun. “She had a boyfriend at the time who she was happy with. She has no reason to blow her career like that.”
4. Wilson, a Reservist in the British Royal Navy, Has a New Boyfriend & Has ‘Moved on With Her Life,’ Her Brother Says
Eleanor Wilson is a reservist in the British Royal Navy and was away on training when the report was released, her brother says.
Jethro Wilson told The Daily Mail his sister has a new boyfriend that she is now living with and she has moved on.
Wilson is from Keighley, West Yorkshire, according to The Daily Mail.
A spokesperson for the Royal Navy told the newspaper, “It would be inappropriate to comment” on Wilson.
5. Wilson, Who Is Still Being Investigated by the Police, Will Be Able to Appeal Her ‘Indefinite’ Ban From Teaching, but Can Never Teach Again if the Ruling Stands
Ellie Wilson is still being investigated by the Avon and Somerset police, who told The Telegraph that she had come in for an interview in May 2016, but she has not been charged.
Her brother, Jethro Wilson, told The Sun, “The police have dealt with it and haven’t prosecuted her because she hasn’t done anything wrong. Nothing happened on the plane or anywhere else.”
Wilson has 30 days to appeal her “indefinite” ban from teaching, but if that appeal is not successful, she will never be allowed to reapply to be a teacher in England, according to the panel’s ruling.
“There was evidence that the teacher’s actions were deliberate and continued for a significant length of time despite her understanding that her behaviour was inappropriate,” Polly O’Malley, the chairman of the panel, told The Daily Mail. “There was no evidence to suggest that the teacher was acting under duress. … These behaviours include serious dishonesty and serious sexual misconduct.”