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Calls for probe into alleged disability discrimination at school after nearly 30 pupils expelled

Nonsuch Primary in Woodgate Valley Photo: BPM Media

The number of children excluded from a school accused of disability discrimination is now nearing 30, a meeting has been told.

At a public gathering last month, Councillor John Lines accused the school of unjustly expelling four youngsters, all with physical or mental difficulties. He says the problem is even more serious, and urged cabinet member for children’s services, Brigid Jones, to take action.

Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy has pledged a full investigation into the allegations made against Nonsuch Primary.

"Brigid Jones will, of course, be aware of the most disturbing revelations in bullying, intimidation, secrecy and dishonesty and the extremely high number of expulsions, which are called exclusions, of children with disabilities by the headteacher of Nonsuch School.”

– Cllr John Lines
Credit: BPM Media

He demanded urgent action following “appalling” reports of “discrimination of our very young, vulnerable citizens, some of whom are still without formal schooling”.

"The number of exclusions is, at the present time, reaching 30 in a very, very small period of time. The letters, emails and calls from distressed parents and staff are most moving.”

– Cllr John Lines

Chairman of the school governors, Simon Thomas, 47, resigned in protest last December.

"I emailed headteacher Jo Walkley and the other governors and said I’d had enough. You would have thought, after 17 years, that the headteacher would want to know why. You were banging your head against a brick wall, and I’d had enough. I used to enjoy doing it, but I believe the school is going downhill. I know of other cases where children with problems were excluded.”

– Simon Thomas

Nonsuch Primary School, in Woodgate Valley, converted to an academy earlier this month.

It has yet to be inspected as an academy, but was rated as “good” by education watchdog Ofsted when it was last inspected in October 2012.

In an earlier response, a city council spokesman said: “We are also working with the school to review inclusion processes and procedures for all pupils. Clearly, if specific concerns come to light about the exclusion of any pupil then we will pursue these accordingly.”