Teacher exchanged asthma inhaler with pupil for replacement uniform
A schoolgirl who misplaced her tie was told by a senior teacher she would have to hand over her asthma inhaler to borrow replacement uniform – as ‘security’.
Garry Gould made the discovery after his 16-year-old daughter Sian became breathless at home days later. The father was ‘disgusted’ when she admitted the teacher still had the inhaler as she couldn’t find her own tie and was worried about being sent home for not having the correct uniform.
Mr Gould even had to ring the family doctor for a replacement when the teacher was not in school to return it, reports the Crewe Chronicle. Garry said: “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.” The fact that an adult, even worse a teacher, thought it was acceptable to take away a child’s medication is unreal.
“When I found out I went mad. Sian hadn’t had her inhaler for a few days because she still couldn’t find her own tie.” She didn’t want to worry us. “To think she was without medication that could potentially save her life is so scary.
“We contacted the school and the teacher wasn’t in to return it. We rang the doctors for a replacement and they couldn’t believe the reason behind why she needed one. “I actually googled whether or not a teacher had the power to take away medication and the first story that came up was a child that had died in the playground after something similar happened.”
The incident occurred back in December in the wake of the damning Ofsted report that placed the school in special measures. Head teacher Trevor Langston resigned following the Ofsted report and Cheshire East made the decision to sack the governing body, replacing it with an Interim Executive Board (IEB) – a panel of industry experts picked by a local authority to steady the ship at struggling schools.
Garry added: “We made a formal complaint to the (then) governors and they came back to say the teacher had been reprimanded and warned never to do such an ‘exchange’ again and the school governor said the teacher understood that the teacher was wrong to take my daughter’s inhaler but I think people still need to know to highlight the problems the school is having.”
New interim head teacher Richard Hedge is now at the school’s helm and has publicly outlined his aims to turn things around. He said that due to the incident taking place before his commencement at the start of term, a comment on the incident would be ‘inappropriate.’
A council statement read: “We understand that a teacher did remove an asthma inhaler from a pupil and that the present interim head teacher, who was not in post at the time, has robustly reminded staff of the DfE guidelines to schools on pupil medication.”
Council leader Michael Jones said: “We are not in control of this school legally but we are awaiting confirmation from the DfE that control will be passed to this council. “We want to be in control of this school as it is a potentially great school and the teachers and pupils deserve the best.”