Mum slams Coventry school for locking seven-year-old in 'padded cell' for misbehaving - The Coventry Observer

18th Aug, 2022

Mum slams Coventry school for locking seven-year-old in 'padded cell' for misbehaving

Lauren Clarke 19th Jan, 2017

A FURIOUS mum has hit out at a Coventry primary school for locking her seven-year-old son in a tiny padded ‘cell’ after being naughty in the classroom.

Charlene Jones claims her son Lewis, who has suspected autism and a serious heart condition, was shut in a room ‘the size of a cupboard’ after he climbed on a table at Aldermoor Farm Primary School.

The hairdresser has lodged an official complaint, alleging the year three pupil was dragged into the windowless room by teachers who held the door shut for ten minutes.

Charlene claims he was only released when his grandmother, Pat Gardener, came to collect him.

She reportedly found the youngster topless, wearing no shoes or socks, and bright red from kicking at the door to try and escape.

Staff at the school claim Lewis was put in the room ‘for his own safety’.

Horrified mum-of-three Charlene said: “I didn’t know this room existed and I didn’t give my permission for Lewis to be put in there.

“It’s a padded room for when children lash out.

“They told me he was in there for ten minutes but you don’t know.”

Lewis, who suffers from aortic stenosis which restricts blood flow, was rushed to the doctors for a check-up after his ordeal on December 14 last year.

Fortunately he was OK, but 31-year-old Charlene has slammed the school for using the ‘police cell-like’ room to control pupils.

The room he was allegedly locked in by staff CREDIT: SWNS.

Lewis is believed to be autistic but has not yet been diagnosed as such.

He wears ear plugs at school because he can’t stand loud noises but doesn’t get any extra support and is in a mainstream class.

Charlene said Lewis became unsettled on the day of the incident during a class with a substitute teacher – panicking, running around, shouting, crying and climbing on tables.

He later told his mum he was grabbed by a teacher ‘by the elbow’ and ‘dragged’ into the room.

Charlene added: “He was very upset afterwards and he said he didn’t want to go back to school or into that room.

“Normally you would speak to a child and try to help them calm down, not this.”

“They need to try a different approach because it can’t be good for their mental health.

“Other parents need to be fully aware of what is going to happen if their children misbehave.”

She has since let Lewis return to the school, but despite meeting with the headteacher to draw up a care plan for Lewis, Charlene claims the school just ‘covered its tracks’ and is yet to apologise.

Charlene claims staff locked Lewis in the room for 10 minutes. CREDIT: SWNS.

Ann Stacey, headteacher at Aldermoor Farm Primary School, said: “Our team are highly skilled in dealing with many children with additional needs and we work hard to make sure we maintain a learning environment that supports the welfare and safety of all our children at all times.

“Very occasionally we have to deal with violent and disruptive behaviour and our first priority is to safeguard and protect other pupils and staff at the school, as well as the child involved.

“On these occasions we have a safe place at the school to help calm children down.

“Any child that is placed in the room is fully supervised by two qualified members of staff and parents are informed.”

She added ‘several attempts’ were made to contact the family.”

A Coventry City Council spokesperson said: “The Local Authority is assured that this school has exemplified best practice in supporting a child with complex needs to remain safe, during an episode of high anxiety.

“The professionally delivered interventions in this case are an example of the exemplary inclusion practice at Aldermoor Farm Primary School.”

Department of Health guidelines state seclusion should not be used as either a treatment or a punishment.

The Department of Education says it is down to councils to govern schools’ use of such rooms, but they should communicate with parents and guardians.

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