Anguish of head beaten by parent

19th May 2000 at 01:00
TWO days after school started in January, headteacher Kevin Pichowski found himself cowering by his desk as a parent rained blows on his head.

Had his secretary not intervened to break up the attack, 50-year-old Mr Pichowski does not know what would have happened.

He is still on painkillers and, with the help of the National Association of Head Teachers, is now seeking criminal injuries compensation.

The parent was sentenced to 50 hours' community service and ordered to pay pound;50 compensation after pleading guilty to common assault.

Mr Pichowski, who has been a head for 10 years, said: "What does that say about the value society puts on headteachers if someone can just walk in off the street and get away with a sentence like that?"

The attack happened after he accused a pupil of bullying younger children in the playground at his school, Ruskin junior in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.

The girl's father was waiting for him at school the next morning, claiming that Mr Pichowski had picked on his child.

"I was sitting in my chair. He walked across the room, swung round and held me by the arm and tried to hit me in the fae with his fist. I ducked and was flung backwards. I covered my head and he hit me at least five or six times on the back of the head and on my shoulders."

His secretary, who was screaming, pulled the man off, putting herself between him and the head. The police were then called.

The child is no longer at the 260-pupil school. Security has been stepped up and the head's office is now located in a room which has two exits.

"For a while I was quite nervous about seeing people on my own. I left the door open and had people sit outside just in case," he said.

Doctors have told him he has whiplash injuries and he is in need of physiotherapy.

"I hate to think what would have happened if my secretary hadn't been there. There is no panic button."

Paul Stinchcombe, the Labour MP for Wellingborough, wrote to Home Secretary Jack Straw following the attack, and said: "It's profoundly shocking and very worrying.

"It's appalling that people who serve the community are at risk in this way. We have to think

seriously how we can protect and support frontline professionals dealing with an array of social


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