A nine-year-old boy in a UK school was locked up in a cupboard for almost four hours as punishment after he was found caked in mud, his mother has alleged, prompting authorities to launch a probe into the shocking claim.
The mother of the boy complained to Middlesbrough’s Sunnyside Academy School over the alleged incident, which she claims has “traumatised” her son.
She was quoted as saying that the alleged incident occurred last month at the Coulby Newham school.
The school’s acting head has denied the claims, but the furious mother insists she is taking her child out the school.
“Obviously we can’t stop crying,” said the mother, a 44-year-old business owner. “I haven’t been able to sleep since and everyone who I have spoke about it with thinks it just wrong.”
Witness statements claim once the child was locked inside, a teacher sat on a chair which was blocking the door.
Responding to the allegations, interim headteacher Ruth Parker confirmed an investigation was under way but added, “We do not accept that the allegations that you say have been made against this school are true.”
“However, you will appreciate that we cannot discuss our primary school pupils or allegations made in relation to them with the press,” Parker said. “Sunnyside Academy takes its legal obligations very seriously and deals with them through its usual formal channels.”
In a letter from Ofsted, the schools watchdog said the allegations it received “raised concerns” and that information will be passed to inspectors ahead of their next visit.
A spokesman for Middlesbrough Council was quoted as saying, “We were made aware by Ofsted of a complaint in relation to safeguarding at Sunnyside Academy and have investigated the matter. We have now referred our findings back to Ofsted.”
“I have had a letter back saying they now need another week to look into it, but I am prepared to take my complaint all the way to the top if I have to,” the mother said.
“I am appalled and disgusted, and I can’t believe this has been allowed to happen,” she said.