'You go to the rubbish school'

2nd October 1998 at 01:00
YOUNG children were bullied in the street after their London primary school was named and shamed.

Heartbreaking stories written by the Years 5 and 6 pupils at St Mary of the Angels revealed how they were attacked as a result of their school being pilloried nationally.

More than 40 children were removed from the Westminster primary by their parents. Among those pupils who remained, many were too ashamed to say which school they went to.

In May, St Mary of the Angels was taken out of special measures and given a clean bill of health by inspectors.

Head Helen Connolly has tried to rebuild the school's damaged reputation, but she said: "It is hard to spread good news."

Mrs Connolly was not at the school when it was named and said: "The children told me 'When we were named and shamed the journalists surrounded the school - where are they today now that we are celebrating?'" Pupil numbers are beginning to creep back up again as the confidence of parents returns. The school has had a full year group intake and has five new teachers.

Mrs Connolly, who joined in January, said: "Naming and shaming is a hard policy. I wouldn't recommend it. We got the children to write their thoughts about the school being named and shamed.They were ashamed to say what school they went to, they got bullied in the area and were told they went to a rubbish school. For a lot of children it had a great effect on their self-esteem so it was really great to see them coming back in September without this cloud hanging over them."

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