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A rugby coach has been banned from teaching after asking pupils for nude pictures, a professional hearing has been told.

Earlier this week an Education Workforce Council (EWC) fitness to practise committee was told a school rugby coach sent inappropriate messages to pupils and asked them if they would send him nude pictures.

Gavin Williams, who was working as Aberdare Community School’s head of rugby, was claimed to have messaged eight pupils via Instagram and Snapchat and made sexual comments about their bodies, as well as sending them topless photos of himself.

The fitness to practise committee was told that Mr Williams, who was a Welsh Rugby Union Hub officer at the time, had also taken a group of female pupils to Aberavon beach for a ‘school trip’ without permission, after a rugby tournament was cancelled.

On Tuesday the committee was told he had driven one girl to the opticians in the middle of the school day, before later falsely claiming that she was his cousin.

The rugby coach was arrested in late 2019 on suspicion of sexual communication with a child.

The teacher is said to have asked one girl if she had a boyfriend, and told her to send him pictures ‘of her pretty face’ and ‘rude ones of her boobs’

His phone was searched, with 1,200 messages downloaded from it, but South Wales Police later decided not to proceed with prosecution.

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An internal inquiry was launched, but Mr Williams resigned from his position at the school which he had held since 2014 – with immediate effect on April 19 2021, the day before a planned disciplinary hearing was set to commence.

Presenting officer Sara Lewis said Mr Williams ‘denied 90% of the allegations,’ and had admitted his language was ‘inappropriate and stupid,’ but insisted it was meant as ‘a bit of banter’.

 


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