Almondbury refugee attack secondary school ‘to be scrapped’

Almondbury Community School Image copyright Andy Catchpool
Image caption Almondbury Community School was put in special measures for “failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education”, Ofsted said

Secondary education looks set to be scrapped at a school where a teenage Syrian refugee was filmed being attacked by another pupil.

Kirklees Council is due to decide later on its plans for Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield, which will affect about 300 children.

The move follows it being put in special measures and comes nine months after the Syrian boy was attacked.

A petition against the proposals has been signed by more than 1,250 people.

Council bosses said “very low pupil numbers” and a recent poor Ofsted inspection had prompted the change, which would start in September 2020 and impact pupils aged between 11 and 16.

Under the plans, the primary element would continue but secondary students would transfer to other nearby schools including King James School and Newsome High School.

The council said there would be sufficient places available, but would look at creating 30 extra spaces at King James School.

Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Kirklees Council is due to make a decision on its plans

Adele Brady, whose son is a pupil, said: “This is going to have a massive impact on his life. But not just his life, [also] our house.

“He’s changed already.”

She said her son was “diagnosed with anxiety, stress”.

“He’s already on medication but they’ve had to up that to keep him under control.

“They [the school] should be ashamed of what they’re doing,” she added.

Michelle Matthews said her daughter was also left distressed by the proposal.

“I found her crying and upset. She’s been frustrated, lashing out.

“She’s frightened that she’s going to get put somewhere and she’s not going to have any friends.”

Image copyright Other
Image caption Footage of the boy being pushed to the ground and having water poured in his face was shared widely in November

In its report, the authority said: “The limited breadth of the curriculum which can be offered because of the current pupil numbers in the secondary stage at Almondbury Community School is unfair to the children.

“It adversely affects their performance and their pathways and future opportunity.

It said other schools could better “support educational outcomes and diversity of provision”.

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