Staff leaving Stevenage primary school ‘in droves’ amid claims of classroom violence

PUBLISHED: 13:02 09 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:33 09 January 2019

Parents of pupils at Longmeadow Primary School in Stevenage say problems are more widespread than just SEN concerns, with seven teachers and five support staff leaving in one term. Picture: Danny Loo

Parents of pupils at Longmeadow Primary School in Stevenage say problems are more widespread than just SEN concerns, with seven teachers and five support staff leaving in one term. Picture: Danny Loo

©2019 Archant

Parents of pupils at a school hit with complaints about special educational needs provision say the problem is more widespread, with seven teachers and five support staff leaving in one term.

In November, parents of children at Stevenage’s Longmeadow Primary School said the school is failing pupils with SEN.

Issues outlined included children with government funding for one-to-one support not receiving this support due to staff shortages.

Headteacher Emily Howley said improvements had been made to SEN provision since Ofsted raised concerns in 2016.

But worried parents have told the Comet there is a far-reaching problem at the school.

One parent, who did not want to be named, said: “Teachers, teaching assistants and admin staff are leaving in droves.

“I hope someone will see it and step in to save the school.

“With seven teachers leaving in just one term, as well as five support staff, it is clear SEN parents aren’t the only ones unhappy.”

She said her two children have both lost their teachers.

“One class has already had an array of teachers this year, which is not good for their education, and I’m now worried my children will face the same,” she explained.

Another parent said: “We have seen a vast number of teachers, teaching assistants and other staff leave our school in droves, as well as a large number of parents removing their children from the school.”

A former staff member said there is a much bigger problem than the SEN provision.

She said: “After changes to the behaviour policy there was shift in violence in school. Classrooms turned into a battleground, with students throwing chairs, tables and resources in classes.

“Staff have been headbutted, kicked, punched and sworn at.

“With the increasing workload and toxic work environment, staff struggled to cope. Some of these talented teachers have left teaching altogether.”

In response, Longmeadow’s chair of governors said: “As with all employers, we do have staff who leave for a number of reasons. However, we have a robust recruitment process in place and are confident we will continue to recruit staff who can provide the best education for our pupils.”

They added: “The safety of staff and pupils at our school is paramount. Any reports of violence would be dealt with swiftly and following internal procedures.”

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