Porn pictures and body art: Tattoo-row teaching assistant quits the classroom after controversy

Charlotte Tumilty
Charlotte Tumilty

A TRAINEE teaching assistant who was controversially asked to cover up her tattoos on a school placement says she has abandoned her dream of a career in the classroom.

Charlotte Tumilty claimed she had been sent home from a teaching assistant placement at St John Vianney Primary School in Hartlepool after a staff member said her tattoos were “inappropriate”.

Charlotte Tumilty, who was sent home from a teaching placement at St John Vianney School on King Oswy Drive yesterday (MONDAY) morning after the tattoos she claims she had told the school about were deemed unsuitable.

Charlotte Tumilty, who was sent home from a teaching placement at St John Vianney School on King Oswy Drive yesterday (MONDAY) morning after the tattoos she claims she had told the school about were deemed unsuitable.

The 26-year-old mum-of-two, from Bruntoft Avenue, in the West View area of the town, claimed she was being “prejudiced” against because of her tattoos.

But bosses at the school insisted that Charlotte was not told she could not work in the school, but that she was asked to consider covering up her tattoos and return to her placement later in the week.

She was also shrouded in controversy when it was revealed that nude modelling pictures of her had emerged online.

Her story hit national and global headlines, with many people joining in the debate over whether it is suitable to have tattoos in the classroom.

Charlotte says the whole situation has been “blown out of proportion”.

She said she has had lots of feedback, both good and bad, but with the positive outweighing the negative.

However, she said she has quit her place on her teaching course at Hartlepool College of Further Education and is concentrating on bringing up her family at the moment.

Charlotte said: “I’ve quit the college, I have no idea what I will do, to be honest – probably just concentrate on my family.”

She added: “Since it’s all blown out of proportion, my story has gone global.

“It’s gone to Russia and America.

“I’ve had a lot of support.

“Though I had a fair bit of negative feedback, mainly from the older generation.

“But it’s been mainly positive.”

Someone taking up a placement or job at a school would have to undergo a disclosure and barring service (DBS) check, which replaced the former CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check, but that is only for a disclosure of criminal convictions. Any appointment would be subject to satisfactory references.

In a survey by the Mail, 79 per cent of readers who took part voted yes’ to the question: Should teaching staff have to cover up tattoos in the classroom?’