Posted: 14.10.21 at 10:00 by Derek Davis
Peninsula parents have spoken of their concerns, anger and frustrations after a bullying culture at Holbrook Academy has been uncovered.
The Academy has been accused of failing to deal with a number of bullying issues and ignoring the problem after a concerned father took to social media to ask if other parents with children at the school had suffered similar issues.
Dozens of parents got in touch and revealed their children had also gone through distressing experiences and the school had not always adequately dealt with them.
The Academy claimed it has an anti-bullying policy to prevent and deal with such issues but did not today directly address ongoing complaints.
One mum told Nub News: "This has been going on at the academy for some time. I have had more than one child go through there and it is always the same. They talk a good game but do nothing.
"The teachers, and staff, either underplay things when they happen, or just ignore the problems.
"I have tried talking direct but got dismissed as a trouble-maker, and I know I'm not the only parent that has gone through this.
"For me it is systemic in the school, and it is not just this headmaster, but the school governors and Trustees. They are more interested in protecting their reputation than pupils who are actually being bullied."
One father contacted Nub News to say he still had nightmares about being bullied at Holbrook and was worried about his daughter's mental wellbeing after she experienced bullying at the hands of some boys at the school.
He said: "I'm very worried what is going to happen to my daughter now and in her future.
"She should be going to school, not only to learn but have friends and have fun. If you take that away from a child then they are broken for the rest of their lives."
The dad who lives on the peninsula, admits he is considering taking his child out of Holbrook, but does not want to give in to the bullies he claims come from outside the school's direct catchment area.
"I do know some children have been pulled out of schools and have gone elsewhere," he said.
"Some have done well but I know some whose mental state suffered and they can't get over what happened at school."
Past experience left a scar on one dad who empathises with the bullied children.
He said: "I was bullied by school for five years, I even got stabbed with a pencil and still have the lead in me, and it is bloody upsetting.
"I still wake up with nightmares about what happened and it has shaped what I am today.
"You feel nervous and upset and you are supposed to learn. I didn't want to go in and made all sorts of excuses not togo to school. If children are bullied, they will play truant."
The concerned parent is convinced thanks can be done to address the situation as has seen tangible results elsewhere, but not at Holbrook.
He said: "A friend of mine had a similar situation recently at East Bergholt High and it was sorted, they have an absolute zero tolerance, why has Holbrook still got this reputation for not dealing with bullying?"
Another parent said: "I have to say I had a good meeting with one teacher and it seems he wants to get the bull by the horns and sort it out. Time will tell."
Nub News asked Holbrook Academy to address the school's failure to acknowledge bullying is taking place, a failure by teachers and staff to deal with the issue adequately and students not being protected; but head teacher Tom Maltby declined to address the current issues directly and instead pointed to the anti-bullying policy sent to parents in June.
The policy was designed to respond swiftly and effectively in response to any bullying at and provide a cohesive and clearly defined strategic approach to bullying; restorative approaches embedded in the school's practice.
The academy said its target was, by using quantitative and qualitative measures, to increase the percentage of students who have never experienced bullying to be more than 95%.
Mr Maltby today said: "The Academy takes any reported incidents of bullying seriously, routinely monitors incidents of both bullying and student well being and is fully committed to working with families on an individual basis.
"For important safeguarding reasons, the Academy will not respond publicly to any individual concerns.
"A copy of our Anti-bullying policy can be found on our school website; this was updated earlier this year after full consultation with all stakeholders including both students and parents."
*What problems have you had with bullying or what other issues have you and your children experienced at Holbrook Academy? Contact [email protected] (anonymity and discretion guaranteed.)
See the thread on Shaun's Shorts Uncut here... to see other parents' views and experiences.
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