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Angry parents accuse primary school in Neasden of child cruelty

PUBLISHED: 06:45 26 May 2016 | UPDATED: 16:45 26 May 2016

Brentfield Primary School is in Brentfield Road (Pic: Jonathan Goldberg)

Brentfield Primary School is in Brentfield Road (Pic: Jonathan Goldberg)

Jonathan Goldberg

A Neasden primary school is at the centre of claims it has banned pupils from using the toilet and stopped them from eating food if they are naughty.

Around 80 parents have signed a petitionAround 80 parents have signed a petition

Furious parents say Brentfield Primary School’s policy is inflicting physical and mental abuse on their children and are calling for action.

Last Friday, outraged mums and dads held a protest outside the school in Brentfield Road, where they also called for a teacher to be sacked amidst claims she used a banned technique to restrain a five-year-old child.

A mother, who asked not to be named, told the Times she found about the alleged policy when her child burst into tears and refused to go to school.

She said: “She just kept crying and crying and telling me ‘mummy I don’t want to go to school’.

“Eventually she told me that naughty children were not allowed to eat free fruit provided for them by the government while forced to watch the others eat and she told me about the toilet punishment too.

“These poor kids wet themselves and when their parents are called to pick them up they are too frightened to say why they had an accident as they think they’ll get in trouble again.

“I am shocked that a school can be so cruel.”

So far 80 parents have signed a petition stating they have no confidence in headteacher Paola Riddle and calling for the teacher who is claimed to have restrained a child using the ‘basket hold’ method to be fired.

The Times has also seen the petition and a catalogue of complaints sent to the school from angry parents.

The ‘basket hold’ was banned in 2008 following the death of a child in custody who was restrained using the technique.

The mother said: “No teacher should be restraining a child this way as it is very dangerous.

“We don’t want her back at the school.”

In a further twist it has been claimed that the school’s governors were blocking any complaints made to the school from reaching the ears of outside agencies.

However the police have been aware of the complaints surrounding the teacher and the mother said a social worker interviewed her child and several others.

She added that she has taken her child out of the school.

A police spokesman told the Times an allegation against a teacher had been recorded and they were awaiting the outcome of an investigation by Brent Council to decide if any action would be taken.

A spokeswoman for Brent Council said: “The council cannot comment on unsubstantiated allegations, however we would always encourage parents and carers with a complaint about a school to contact that school where it will be dealt with under the school’s complaints policy.

“If it is a safeguarding concern, they must contact our Brent Family Front Door immediately. We take the safety and welfare of our children in Brent extremely seriously and will always investigate a concern or referral thoroughly, following due process.”

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