Education

Teachers say they not need police based mostly in faculties after Child Q outrage | Schools

Teachers stated they not need police to be stationed in faculties after outrage over the therapy of Child Q, as National Education Union members voted for the elimination of the senior Met law enforcement officials concerned within the case.

Delegates to the NEU’s annual convention backed a movement that stated calling the police to take care of pupils “must be a last resort” for faculties and academics.

A succession of audio system advised the convention that Child Q’s expertise – the place she was strip-searched by police at her college – was not an remoted case for black pupils, who had been extra more likely to be affected by police stationed below the safer faculties officer (SSO) coverage.

A nationwide outcry adopted final month when it emerged that the 15-year-old lady had been strip-searched by Met officers at her college after a false accusation that she possessed hashish. No hashish was discovered.

“What happened to Child Q cannot be allowed to ever happen again,” stated Carly Slingsby, a trainer from Hackney, the native authority that features Child Q’s college.

“We need to close the doors and school gates to the police so that our children will know they won’t be the next Child Q.”

Slingsby stated faculties had been chosen to have an SSO based mostly on the proportion of pupils on free college meals, absentee charges and the variety of youngsters with social staff: “These officers have made up their mind about our children before they even set foot in the school.”

Louise Lewis, an NEU government member and trainer from Kirklees, stated her coronary heart broke when she examine Child Q’s experiences.

“For staff in schools, the policies and systems in place for schools to protect this child failed in the worst way possible, as did the police. Unfortunately this was not an isolated incident by the police, and that’s why we need change now,” Lewis stated.

“These figures and incidents are alarming and therefore, as the largest education union in the UK, it’s important we stand with Child Q and support her drive for change.”

Neil Dhanda, a trainer from Redbridge, advised delegates on the convention in Bournemouth that the Child Q case “should raise questions about whether police should be in schools at all”.

“As shocking as it is, this is not the only example of harm caused by police presence. There are similarly affected families who are concerned that police in schools have a disproportionate impact on black children.

“Schools should not be policed and children should not be criminalised. This only serves to limit their educational and life opportunities, feeding a school-to-prison pipeline that unfairly impacts working-class and black students.”

Kevin Courtney, the union’s joint basic secretary, stated: “This has to stop, and the NEU is calling on the police to stop searching children and on the government to consult widely about revised behaviour guidance, which has child safeguarding front and centre.

In his opening speech to the conference, the NEU president, Daniel Kebede, said the Child Q case highlighted “a growing trend in which police are ever-present in schools”, resulting in the elevated criminalisation of youngsters.

“Some say I’m wrong and police can provide a pastoral role, but I don’t think that’s right. They degraded, abused and humiliated Child Q,” Kebede stated.

Noting that Child Q had not been in possession of medicine, Kebede stated: “I know a place where 11 in 12 toilets tested positive for cocaine. It’s a place where there is a 24-hour police presence. It’s called the Houses of Parliament. Why are [the Met] strip-searching children and not strip-searching MPs?”

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