Discipline at school has ‘gone down the drain’

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  • Time for change: one mother hopes there will be a new management style at  Elliot Primary School now that parent Diallo Rabain is Minister of Education

    Time for change: one mother hopes there will be a new management style at Elliot Primary School now that parent Diallo Rabain is Minister of Education

Bullying and bad behaviour at an island primary school is ignored by education officials, worried parents have claimed.

Parents of pupils at Elliot Primary School said that their objections to the education ministry had fallen on deaf ears — and that some had voted with their feet and transferred their children to other schools.

A total of five parents, who asked not to be identified, attacked the school’s standards and said misbehaviour and bullying were not dealt with.

One mother said she had complained numerous times to the principal and the counsellor at Elliot about her son’s academic problems.

She added: “Elliot has always been known as a really, really good school, but discipline has gone down the drain.

“I got to the point where I decided to get my son out.”

The parent added his new teacher identified his academic difficulties within a week of his transfer last year.

She said that she had sat in on one of her son’s classes at Elliot where the teacher had been “unable to control these kids — she screamed at one boy to go into a closet and do his work”.

The woman added she had been shocked to see a teacher shouting at children in front of her but had found the school’s management “not very approachable”.

She said: “I know that other parents have written to the ministry.”

But the mother explained she hoped there would be a change in management style at the school because fellow Elliot parent Diallo Rabain was now Minister of Education,

She added: “He will help. He has been very good, very keen with the PTA.

“I just feel that those teachers who are hard workers are getting very frustrated.”

Another parent claimed that parents had pulled as many as 20 children out of Elliot last year.

The woman said: “There were people in June taking their children out, and not even letting them finish the school year.”

“Going to the ministry does not help. Many parents have called Commissioner of Education Freddie Evans and sent him e-mails. “If multiple parents are coming and complaining, they have got to try and get the problem right.

“I have called the ministry many times. So have many other parents. Nothing is being done. The last two years, it’s been crazy.”

And she admitted she had considered taking her child out of Elliot,

She said: “I’ve even spoken with teachers at other schools who have heard about the issues we’re having.”

She added many teachers appeared to struggle with controlling their classes and that “incidents of bullying” were not acted upon.

The claims were backed by three other parents, who said they were frustrated at a failure to enforce discipline.

The woman added: “It’s not about being vindictive — it’s about the children enjoying their childhood memories.”

The Ministry of Education was asked if there had been a substantial volume of complaints about discipline at the school and if there had been a rise in transfers to other schools over the last three years.

Officials had not responded by press time.

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Published Sep 19, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Sep 19, 2017 at 6:20 am)

Discipline at school has ‘gone down the drain’

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