Mum shuns primary school after daughter suffers three accidents requiring hospital care within six months

But the school defends its safety policy, saying it takes safeguarding 'extremely seriously'

Monday, 8th November 2021, 5:04 pm
Updated Monday, 8th November 2021, 5:06 pm

A mum has removed her daughter from her primary school after the child suffered three accidents there within six months.

Each accident required a visit to A&E, says the mum, and one has left the child with a permanent scar.

The little girl was five years old and in the reception class at Heronshaw School on Walnut Tree when the first incident happened last April.

Heronshaw School

"The school rang to say my daughter had fallen against a plastic tray - the sort schools use to keep the children's work in - and cut her leg.

"I went to pick her up and it was a really deep cut just above her knee. I took her to hospital and she had to have six stitches. She will be scarred for life."

Puzzled as to how a seemingly robust plastic tray could cause so much damage, the mum asked to look around the classroom.

"It was two days later when I visited the school. The damaged tray was still there in the classroom and still on the floor was a sharp shard of plastic that had broken off it... I really would have expected the school to clean it up," she claims.

The deep gash on the child's leg needed six stitches

"I also found two more broken trays with sharp pieces that could have resulted in other accidents," she claimed.

Meanwhile, the little girl pulled out some of the stitches and had to return to hospital to have the wound re-stitched to avoid infection.

The next trip to A&E came in October, just before half term.

"The school called to say my daughter had swallowed a stone. She'd picked it up from the floor while queuing for assembly. Nobody saw her do it but she'd told her teacher about it.

"As a first time parent and a young mum, I asked the school for advice for what I should do and if I need to take her hospital. Her teacher said that she said it was a little stone and would pass through so she should be okay.

"But if they didn't see her swallow the stone, how did they know it was only a little one?"

That afternoon, after school pick up, the little girl complained of pain in her windpipe. Her worried mum called 111 and explained about the stone incident earlier in the day.

"They said to take her straight to A&E. The doctors there said the school had given me the wrong advice and she should have been taken straight to hospital after swallowing a foreign object."

In fact, an X-Ray proved the stone was small enough to pass down the windpipe and not cause any danger.

"I feel the school failed to give me the right advice. As a first time young mum, I rely on schools, nurseries, etc to give me advice. She could have ended up a lot worse," said the mum.

The final straw came last week when the school called to say the child had tripped over a ball in the playground during morning break and hurt her ankle.

"They said they'd put some ice on it and it wasn't swollen. I asked if I should pick her up but they said she would be fine."

But, when the mum picked up her daughter after school, she said it was obvious she was in pain.

"Her face looked drawn and she was limping. When I pulled her sock down, I could see her ankle was swollen like a golf ball. She certainly was not okay."

Again, the mum took the child to A&E where doctors diagnosed a torn ligament. The little girl must now rest for two weeks and keep her foot elevated.

"The worst thing she could have done was walk on it as that can cause more damage. Yet she'd been walking around all day at school. Again, I feel they gave the wrong advice," said the mum.

"My daughter is not an accident-prone child, yet we have had four trips to A&E in this short time. It's just too much."

The mum has now taken her child out of Heronshaw, which has an Ofsted rating of Outstanding, and has applied for a place at an alternative school. She posted about the incidents on her social media and says Heronshaw asked her to remove the post.

"They threatened me with legal action but I've still refused to remove it," she said.

The Citizen spoke to Heronshaw headteacher Jamie Ainscow.

And he insisted the highly rated school the child welfare very seriously.

"It would be inappropriate for me to comment on an individual pupil. But as a school we take every child's welfare and safety extremely seriously and safeguarding is our highest priority," He said.

The school's Ofsted report, recently published after inspectors visited last September, states: "The arrangements for safeguarding are effective. Leaders have created a culture in which pupils’ welfare is given the highest priority. Leaders ensure that all adults working in school are well trained in safeguarding. All staff have a thorough understanding of what to do if they have any concerns about a child’s safety."

It adds: "Leaders are vigilant in following up all concerns to keep pupils safe from harm. Teachers use strategies such as ‘worry monsters’ to encourage pupils to share their worries. Adults talk to pupils, providing reassurance, help and support. Pupils feel confident that there is always an adult to turn to for help."