Opt-out school 'getting rid of troublesome boys'
Sunday 26 July 1992
Parents at Queen Elizabeth Boys' School in Barnet, north London, say they have been pressed to withdraw their sons or have them expelled. Though it no longer has direct authority over the school, Barnet education authority has asked for an investigation by Her Majesty's Inspectorate.
Vic Usher, the Tory chairman of the education committee, said that between 13 and 15 pupils have been withdrawn or excluded from the school this year. 'It seems something very wrong is going on there. I am not against schools opting out, but I want to cut out the question of them selecting pupils in this way.'
When the Government introduced opting-out, under which state-funded schools can throw off local authority control and gain a greater measure of independence, critics warned that such schools would reintroduce selection and try to exclude difficult children. Now, parents allege that Queen Elizabeth Boys' is acting in traditional public school style.
Parents of former pupils say they were not made aware of their rights when they agreed to withdraw their children. The governing body is legally required to approve suspensions or expulsions, and parents have a right of appeal. Expulsions from state schools are rare, and usually applied only for highly disruptive behaviour.
One parent, Frank Niesiolowski, said the school suggested that he take his son away for what he considers 'totally petty reasons' (Robert had been cheeky in class). Another parent, Pat Fry, withdrew her son, Nicky, 14, after a series of disputes with the school, which began after her husband died. 'I didn't want expulsion on his record so I withdrew him,' she said. 'I did exactly what they wanted me to do. I should have looked for help somewhere.' Steven Foster agreed to withdraw his 15-year-old son last Easter; James had been handing in homework late and had cracked jokes in class a few times.
The school is closed for the summer and the head, Eamonn Harris, was unavailable last week. He has, however, rejected the accusations as offensive and untrue.
Barry Martin, vice-chairman of the governors, said he had never heard of parents being persuaded to withdraw pupils.
Kevin Smith, a Labour councillor who moved the education committee resolution last week calling for an investigation, said: 'My fear is the creation of sin-bin schools. If the authority had been in control the inspectors would have gone in by now.'
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 5 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
Caitlyn Jenner's mother Ester thought her daughter, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, had transitioned for money
Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
Charles Kennedy dead: A guy once asked the Lib Dem leader who his favourite Muppet was and his letter response was wonderful
Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are a world leadin...