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Teacher struck off for affair with teenager.

Byline: Wales News Service newsdesk@walesonline.co.uk

AN ART teacher has been struck off for having a "sexually motivated" affair with a teenage student at a Welsh college.

The relationship meant that tutor Nia Davies's professional conduct was unacceptable, a disciplinary hearing found.

Davies, 31, had taken the young girl on weekends away to Bath and London to share hotel bedrooms.

The relationship was discovered when the girl's father spotted a lovebite on her neck and told Coleg Sir Gar in Llanelli about their relationship.

Davies also sent messages discussing drugs and alcohol with the girl during the "extremely close relationship" between them.

An Education Workforce Council (EWC) panel has now banned Davies from teaching for a minimum of two years after six allegations of misconduct were proven. Chairman Peter Williams said: "Ms Davies' conduct was found to be sexually motivated."

Presenting officer Cadi Dewi said: "Concerns first came to light about the relationship when the girl's father made a referral to her college.

"He noticed she had marks on the side of her neck which he described as love bites.

"He was then told by her sister that the girl was 'seeing' Davies."

The father alerted police to the suspected affair and an investigation was launched.

She said: "In just 17 days alone the pair exchanged 350 pages worth of messages. 120 were sent in just one day.

"Davies showed a willingness to overstep boundaries at the college. There were frequent references to the use of drugs, using cannabis and alcohol.

"It was an extremely close and highly inappropriate relationship. It became a relationship that was sexual in nature.

"Davies' motivation in becoming so friendly and so close to the girl was that she had a sexual interest in her."

The girl - referred to as "Learner A" throughout the hearing - previously admitted to her parents she had spent weekends away in Bath and London with her teacher.

She denied having sex with Davies when interviewed by police, but admitted they had kissed and would sleep together at Davies' home in Cardiff.

The police investigation led to Davies being arrested and bailed, but she was never charged.

Her college launched its own investigation, but it wasn't completed before Davies' contract at the school was allowed to expire, and she refused to attend subsequent investigation meetings. The girl, described as an "outgoing and bright pupil", told the hearing she had never been in a relationship with Davies, which led to Ms Dewi accusing her of "trying to protect" Davies.

George Pollitt, representing Davies, said: "She said they have engaged in some sort of relationship, which is not platonic... when my client was not employed at the college.

"I cannot put a label on what the relationship is, but I'm told it's hard to define. They met up socially as friends and things blossomed."

But the EWC panel found six allegations of misconduct proven, after Davies had admitted counts of engaging in communication of a social nature and seeing the girl unaccompanied on a social basis outside of college.

The proven claims included inviting the girl into her home address, allowing her to sleep at her home, kissing her, and giving her a love bite.

Claims of sharing a bed with the girl in London and engaging in sexual intercourse were not proven.

An EWC spokesman said: "Ms Davies has the right of appeal to the High Court within 28 days."

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Art teacher Nia Davies, 31
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 15, 2016
Words:577
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