Nothing 'alleged' about assault

From N.E. Thornley.

I write to correct the reference to my school (TES, October 25). Bacup Fearns High School was recognised as a comprehensive school by the Secretary of State in December 1990, after consideration of the quality of the school's work and the performance of our pupils, among other rigorous criteria.

The incident that you describe as "alleged" actually happened.

Indeed, the independent appeals panel members in their judgment accepted that the boy was guilty of the behaviour described.

The facts of the incident are these: the boy was separated from another pupil during a fight; he stepped back, abused the teacher verbally and hit him full in the face; he was excluded permanently by me after a full investigation.

The governors and the local education authority agreed with my judgement, but the independent appeals panel, while agreeing that the teacher had been assaulted, considered my judgement too harsh.

At present, the boy involved is being educated in the short term on site by the local education authority's home tuition service.

N E THORNLEY Headteacher, Fearns High School, Bacup, Lancashire.

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