A TEACHING assistant admitted uploading images to Facebook showing fellow staff members sticking two fingers up at the camera and simulating sex with a toy crocodile while in the classroom.

Robyn Jones, who worked at Hafod y Wern School in Wrexham, has admitted 'unacceptable professional conduct' in her role as a learning support worker with children with special needs.

She was appearing at a Fitness to Practice Committee Hearing of the Education Workforce Council (EWC) held at Venue Cymru in Llandudno.

The committee has the power to decide on whether a teaching staff's registration is affected by disciplinary orders ranging from a reprimand to a prohibition order meaning the individual will no longer be allowed to practise in Wales

Ms Jones, 27, of Wrexham, now working in a pre-school nursery, told the hearing she had taken three pictures of staff on the last day of the summer term in 2017 which she had uploaded to Facebook where they had been 'liked' by other staff at the school.

Patrick Llewelyn, representing officer for EWC, said some of the pictures showed "misuse of a reptile" in a position which implied "sexual innuendo".

The reptile was later described as a toy crocodile brought into the school to assist staff members with role play.

Other pictures showed two staff members displaying V signs at the camera while another featured staff fooling around with a horses head mask.

All of the pictures were taken inside the school, which serves Caia Park, with some in a classroom and others in a female bathroom with one picturing a senior member of staff without her knowledge.

Appearing as a witness for the council, headteacher Simon Edwards said the school had been in special measures in 2005 and was situated in the third most deprived area in Wales.

He said he been made aware of an image being posted on Facebook on September 14, 2017, and described it as "showing the school in a bad light".

Further pictures had come to light in which the school could clearly be identified due to staff members wearing branded lanyards and having school logos on their clothing.

"We've worked hard to raise the reputation of the school and the photographs undermined that," said Mr Edwards.

The headteacher said Ms Jones had denied knowledge of the photographs when first confronted about them but admitted taking them when she was shown a photograph that showed she had uploaded them.

The remaining photographs were later deleted with Mr Edwards saying this amounted to "a cover-up" and Ms Jones was suspended the following day.

When asked about her meeting with Mr Edwards, Ms Jones, said: "It did not register what he was talking about until I was shown a photo.

"I apologised profusely but he said 'it's too late for sorry now' and when I left the office I was so upset and mortified.

"I immediately deleted all the photos on my page which has the strictest privacy settings and it was not to cover anything up. I wanted to rectify things."

Mr Edwards told the hearing he had led a training day where the dangers of posting information about the school on social media had been discussed, just a few days before Ms Jones had posted a picture to Facebook.

But Ms Jones said training at the school had been inadequate and had not mentioned anything about images.

"I don't feel like we had training," she said. "We've never had any social network training as far as I now.

"All the pictures were taken after school and no children were present."

When asked by committee chair Richard Parry Jones how important it was to her that she continued in the teaching profession, Ms Jones replied: "It's my passion and I find it so rewarding.

"I was so deeply upset by this - it was a silly mistake."

Matthew Cunningham, representing Ms Jones, added: "Things always look worse in slow-mo.

"Yes, this was unprofessional but at the time it's not so easy to think like that."