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Probe after schoolchildren 'put in store cupboard as punishment'

Mirror Mirror 12/04/2016 By Sam Yarwood
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A probe has been launched after school children were allegedly banished to a store cupboard by a member of staff on several occasions.

Education bosses at Wigan Council confirmed they are investigating allegations made against a member of staff at Leigh CE Junior School in Leigh.

Mum Victoria Francis says she was made aware of the investigation after receiving a call from a social worker saying her son was reportedly one of the young pupils who had been put in the store cupboard.

She told the Manchester Evening News that the alleged incidents had come to light after another child went home after being made to stand in the store room and told his mum who then called police.

Victoria said she was disgusted to find out her 11-year-old son Nathan, who has dyspraxia, had allegedly also been put in the cupboard by the member of staff.

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She said: “I am fuming and disgusted by the whole thing.

“Nathan suffers from dyspraxia and told me he was put in there for not writing as quickly as the rest of his class. To be punished for having a disability is despicable.

“I’m told it’s just boys that are put in the store cupboard none of the girls are.”

Victoria said that at least six children are thought to be involved in the investigation, and that social services have met with each of their parents or guardians.

It is understood that social services will be visiting the school this week.

Victoria added: “The member of staff was apparently making them stand inside the cupboard, which Nathan says has a window, on their own and then shutting the door. Nathan says sometimes he was told he would be in there for five minutes and then he could come out, but he can tell the time, and says he’s been in there for over an hour before.

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“It’s not on. Nathan isn’t the biggest fan of school as it is and I know some of the other pupils have been scared and upset by it.”

It’s not yet known whether the member of staff in question has been suspended.

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A spokesman for Wigan Council said it would be up to the school, which is closed until Tuesday, to take any action.

James Winterbottom, director for children’s services at Wigan Council, said: “We have been made aware of allegations and are working with the school and police on the matter and will keep parents appropriately informed throughout the process.”

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