Harold Hill school denies accusations of bullying problem and 'letting down' SEN pupils

Dawn and Layla

Dawn-Marie is hoping the school will clampdown on bullying to prevent any other children having to go through what her daughter Layla has. - Credit: Dawn-Marie

 A Harold Hill school has denied multiple allegations of failing to support children with additional needs and children bullying others.   

Parents of pupils at Broadford Primary School have alleged their children have been subjected to bullying and left to learn at levels lower than their own.  

However, a spokesperson for the school said bullying is not tolerated and any reported incidences are taken seriously.  

They added: “We are wholly committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment so all children can enjoy and achieve during their time at school, especially those with additional needs.” 

Mother-of-two Dawn-Marie Huxtable, 35, told the Recorder she took her nine-year-old daughter Layla out of the school because she was concerned about safety.  

Dawn-Marie said she emailed staff at the school multiple times, a few of which this newspaper has seen, in a bid to address the alleged bullying issue.  

The incidents left Dawn-Marie with no choice but to take action, she claimed, alleging one instance where a child threatened to “slice” Layla's and her three-year-old sister's faces.  

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“She was so devastated and cried as she had to leave all of her friends she’s been with since reception," said Dawn-Marie. "It’s traumatic for her and my daughter has been failed time and time again by the school."  

The school's spokesperson said its staff “react firmly and deal with all bullying allegations individually”.  

They added: “There are consequences for the perpetrators and children are taught to speak out against bullying. Children are never punished for doing so.” 

Layla has now moved to a new school and Dawn-Marie said the switch had prompted - for first time "in a long time” - her daughter to get her confidence and smile back.  

“Her new school have been so supportive already,” she added. 

She hopes Broadford will crackdown on the reports of nasty behaviour so no children have to face bullying.  

A different mother-of-three who would like to remain anonymous also alleged her two children who attend the school have been bullied.  

The 36-year-old claimed her children, aged eight and nine, have been “scared” to go to school.  

She said: “The school deny bullying is a problem even though many parents complain about it on a daily basis.” 

The Romford mum accused the school of not taking the correct approach to stop bullying. 

She alleged: “My children have been hit numerous times and the school failed to tell me about it.” 

Another mum, Donna, who wishes not to have her last name known, has ten-year-old twins who attend Broadford.

She claimed they have been “let down and failed by the school”.  

Both of her sons suffer with motor function problems and she believes they are currently learning at Year 2 or 3 level when they are in Year 6.  

The school’s spokesperson said: “Children with additional needs are supported through the Havering graduated approach, this identifies the specific area of need and intervention required.” 

They encouraged parents concerned about their child’s progress to discuss it with class teachers and the school's SEND team. 

Donna, a 39-year-old from Harold Hill, said because the brothers only have a couple of months left before they move to secondary, it would be “pointless” to change schools now.

She added: “I’ve tried to get the kids extra help and email the school constantly."  

The mother-of-three called for the school to “train their staff better” about special educational needs.  

She called the situation “heart-breaking”. 

This comes after an executive headteacher of Broadford was suspended for an investigation into allegations of cheating in exams to take place.

The school currently holds a 'good' Ofsted rating following a 2018 inspection, down from its 2014 rating of 'outstanding' when there was a different headteacher.  

In 2017, Broadford won both primary school of the year and overall school of the year at the 2017 Times Educational Supplement (TES) Schools Awards.