Ely head warns parents could be banned from school following ‘racist’ incidents

Ely sign
Ely sign

An Ely headteacher has written to parents warning them they could be banned from a junior school should they continue to make “racist” comments on the school grounds.

The warning was issued in a letter from Rebecca Ireland-Curtis, head of St Mary’s CoE Junior School, and comes after concerns were raised that “several parents” have been expressing “racial intolerance” to members of the school community.

This is a very serious matter. Under our code of practice, this is completely unacceptable for both parents and children to behave in such a manner and we take this issue extremely seriously

Nationally there has been a rise of racial incidents, which critics believe is a result of the recent EU referendum result.

The letter also claims students at the school, which reportedly has a large Eastern European intake, have been repeating racially intolerant statements in class.

The letter, distributed on Thursday, reads: “It has come to our attention that several alleged racial incidents have occurred on the school grounds, whereby it has been alleged that several parents have been expressing racial intolerance to members of our school community.

“We have also been made aware that several of our children are now repeating racially intolerant statements within school.

“This is a very serious matter. Under our code of practice, this is completely unacceptable for both parents and children to behave in such a manner and we take this issue extremely seriously.”

The school said it intends to run assemblies and lessons to promote an ethos of inclusion and tolerance.

The letter stated: “Any parent or carer found to be involved in any racist incident will be reported to the Local Governing Body and DEMAT, who have the power to ban individuals from the school site.

“Furthermore, a full investigation will be undertaken within school to understand fully what has been happening.

“Any racist incident involving a child or adult must be legally and formally reported to Cambridgeshire County Council and DEMAT throughout our official reporting measures.

“Legislation exists to protect people from racial abuse and, if necessary, the school will not hesitate in reporting incidents to the police.

“On behalf of DEMAT, the Local Governing Body and school staff, I would like to reassure the school community that any parent or child that feels they would like to talk to the school about this, can do so in complete confidence.”

The school, which has 480 pupils aged between seven and eleven, was rated as Requiring Improvement by Ofsted in 2013.