Alleged racist abuse by parents and children at Ely junior school. Headteacher sends warning letters

PUBLISHED: 12:13 14 July 2016 | UPDATED: 12:13 14 July 2016

St Mary's Ely

St Mary's Ely

Archant

Parents and children have been warned they could be banned from an Ely junior school and police involved after alleged racist abuse.

A full investigation has begun at St Mary’s school to “understand fully what has happened,” according to a letter handed out to all parents last week.

The website of St Mary’s Church of England Junior promises that all pupils at Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust (DEMAT) schools are strongly encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance.

Head teacher Rebecca Ireland said: “It has come to our attention that several alleged racist incidents have occurred on the school grounds, whereby it has been alleged that several parents have been expressing racial intolerance to members of our school community.

“We have also been made aware that several of our children are now repeating racially intolerant statements within school.

“This is a very serious matter. Under our code of practice this is completely unacceptable for both parents and children to behave in such a manner and we take this issue extremely seriously.”

She went on to warn: “Any racists incident involving a child or adult must be legally and formally reported to Cambridgeshire County Council and DEMAT through our official reporting measures.

“Legislation exists to protect people from racial abuse and. If necessary, the school will not hesitate in reporting indents to the Police.”

The school, which has around 400 pupils, is now planning a series of assemblies and lessons to help “support our school ethos of inclusion and intolerance.”

Ms Ireland added: “On behalf of DEMAT, the Local Governing Body and school staff, I would like to reassure the school community that any parent or child that feels they would like to talk to the school about this, can do so in complete confidence.”

The school says right from the outset it adopted the word ‘RESPECT’, where each letter underpins “its Christian ethos whilst also upholding important British values.”

T is for Tolerance, for example.

The web site adds: “We ensure that pupils understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law.

“Our school’s ethos and teaching supports the rule of English civil and criminal law and we do not teach anything that undermines it.

“We promote fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

“We expect all staff to uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high ethics and behaviour, within and outside school.

“This includes not undermining fundamental British values.”

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