Letters extra: 'Blowing the whistle could stop abuse'

21st March 2003 at 00:00

In 2001, after securing promotion to another school, I 'blew the whistle' on a headteacher who would not address my concerns about a child whose sexualised and violent behaviour was acted out daily on other children in my class.

Whilst serving out my contract with the school I wrote, in turn, to the chair of governors, the school's advisor, the head of the LEA's advisory service and finally made an official complaint to the LEA. My letter was accompanied by twelve pages of evidence; letters I had written to the headteacher, letters from concerned parents and a transcribed diary of events. At each stage my concerns were met with polite denial and disinterest.

When the LEA, following their prescribed procedure, 'investigated' the incidents they sent the school's attached advisor to interview the deputy, appointed only months earlier by the same advisor.nbsp; My complaint came less than two years after another child at the school died after months of presenting at school with 'self-inflicted' injuries that included bite marks on his back.

In neither case was the Child Protection Agency ever informed. In spite of being well supported by my union throughout my complaint, and having already secured a job in another education authority before I 'blew the whistle', I found the experience to be extremely stressful and demoralising.

Every person I informed was more concerned about the implications to their own positions, than the health and safety of the children in the school. In both cases I have described the families involved attended the same church as the chair of governors and headteacher.

It is pointless having Local Education Authorities draw up their own procedures to deal with these issues as there will always be a trail of people more concerned about protecting their own jobs, positions, church or friends, than protecting vulnerable children.

Name and address supplied.

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