Parents call for senior leaders to be removed from troubled school amid bullying row

Parents of pupils at a troubled Black Country school have submitted a petition calling for the removal of senior leaders.

Barcroft Primary School in Willenhall
Barcroft Primary School in Willenhall

The start of term at Barcroft Primary School in Willenhall was plunged into turmoil after pupils were told to stay at home due to staff refusing to work.

A total of 28 teachers stayed off in protest at the reinstatement of two senior leaders, who had been suspended earlier this year amid allegations of bullying and safeguarding issues.

It is understood that the senior staff leaders in question are currently away from the school and that the majority of staff have now returned, meaning lessons for most pupils are back to normal.

Now concerned parents have launched a petition demanding that the senior leaders are not brought back into the school.

They have called on Walsall Council to launch a "full investigation" into the issues surrounding Barcroft Primary, including new allegations of "bullying and intimidation" against parents.

A letter with the petition, which has been signed by 183 parents, was submitted to Walsall Council by Willenhall South councillor Sean Coughlan earlier this week.

In it, parents say they want to highlight "growing concerns for the safeguarding of their children and staff" and the "lack of trust that has developed since the term began".

Tracy McGuire, who started the petition, said: "As parents we are shocked at what is going on at the school and we feel we can't just sit back and not do anything.

"We have made our feelings clear that we need to stand with these teachers who felt so strongly about what was going on that they did not go into work.

"We feel we have not been kept informed of decisions that have been taken and believe the best solution is for the senior leadership not to be reinstated."

Councillor Coughlan, who has visited the school with fellow ward councillor Diane Coughlan, said it was vital that Walsall Council "get a handle" on the situation as soon as possible.

"There are issues at the school and it seems the communication between the council, the school and parents should have been better," he said. "What's going on at the school is a tragedy for the kids and really sad for the area.

"It needs to be sorted out as soon as possible."

A spokesperson for Walsall Council, said: "A petition has been submitted to the council requesting that this is forwarded to the Board of Governors at Barcroft Primary School for consideration."

Staff at the school are currently being balloted over strike action.

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