Colne Valley High School pupil needed hospital treatment after bullying as mum accuses school of failing to act

A MUM has hit out at a school’s failure to act after her daughter was so badly bullied she needed hospital treatment.



A MUM has hit out at a schools failure to act after her daughter was so badly bullied she needed hospital treatment.

Tabitha Ellam, of Slaithwaite, claims she contacted Colne Valley High School on numerous occasions after her daughter Sabrina was allegedly racially abused, mugged and assaulted.

But she claimed headteacher Carol Gormley failed to call her back for more than a month, the problems escalated and her 12-year-old daughter Sabrina Pollock was punched in the face, leaving her concussed and with a suspected broken jaw.

Sabrina Pollock

Now the angry mother is moving her daughter to a new school.

The news comes after Colne Valley Specialist Arts College sparked outrage among parents after their children were given after-school detentions for forgetting rubbers and pencil sharpeners last week.

The Slaithwaite mum-of-four said: Sabrina had always been very academic and loved going to school.

When she started at Colne Valley in September, there were problems of bullying.

She was mugged on the bus somebody stole her mobile phone and tried to rip off her coat and then on another occasion she was racially abused.

It was very shocking to hear a child calling Sabrina these horrific names, it was so confusing for her.

We were immediately in touch with several teachers and the Additional Educational Needs team.

The boy who abused her was simply made to write a letter to say sorry and we were told that the pupil who stole her phone had cried when questioned by teachers.

The approach to bullying at the school is so relaxed, it is awful.

After Christmas, it continued and after discussing it for quite sometime we realised just how uncomfortable Sabrina was at the school.

We decided our only option was to move schools.

Tabitha was told by the school that she needed to fill in a transfer form and have it signed by the headteacher.

However, she claims she spent nearly six weeks chasing the form from Ms Gormley, leaving several messages, emails and requests for a callback with her personal assistant.

After speaking with the LEA, Ms Gormley returned an email claiming she had not heard anything about Sabrinas bullying and therefore would not sign the form at this date.

Tabitha continued: Ms Gormley then spoke to Sabrina three times in school, once telling her that she too had suffered racism as she had been teased for her Irish accent.

She suggested that Sabrina may still get bullied if she moved schools and it was more convenient if she moved in September.

Then on March 28, Sabrina was punched in the face.

I was only alerted late afternoon but it happened in the morning. They told me my daughter had been assaulted but she was fine in an answer phone message and I didnt need to worry.

When I spoke to Sabrina it was a very different story she said she was nauseous and dizzy.

The bruises on her cheeks were awful, they didnt look like a child had done it.

When Sabrina walked home, her parents took her to hospital where they discovered she was at risk of a sub-haematoma and had suffered a severe concussion.

Tabitha refused to send Sabrina back to the school after Easter as she deemed it irresponsible. She said: The school still havent contacted me.

Sabrina has been an unauthorised absence since Monday and nobody has called me.

A school spokeswoman said: The school takes all instances of poor behaviour between its students seriously and deals with them accordingly.

All incidents are dealt with by a number of trained staff in school, including the school-based police officer when appropriate.

Despite all our interventions the parents subsequently requested a transfer to a new school.

Although we are very disappointed to lose this student, who has made many positive contributions to the school in her time here, we have worked closely with her new school to ensure she has a smooth start there.

We have written to the family to wish her well.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman confirmed that they had received a complaint and the boy was suspended from school for several days after admitting the offence in police interview.

He was referred to the Juvenile Referral Scheme which means that any further incident would result in him facing further police action.

 
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