Mother home schools daughters after they were assaulted by bullies

Mother says she has been forced to home school her two daughters aged six and four ‘after they were ‘physically assaulted’ by bullies and came home covered in bruises, grazes and mud’

A mother claims she has been forced to home school her two young daughters after they were repeatedly attacked by bullies.

Michelle Murray said daughters Aimee-Rose Reynolds, six, and Lilah-Grace, four, have come home with bruises, grazes and covered in mud after being shoved around in the playground at Ark Kings Primary Academy in Kings Norton, Birmingham.

Mrs Murray claims Aimee-Rose even had a clump of hair pulled out of her head by a group of boys which left her with a huge bald patch.

The mother added she has had meetings with the school and has written to Ofsted and Birmingham City Council but claims no one is prepared to help her children.

But teachers at Ark Kings Primary say they have never received a formal complaint from her.

Michelle Murray, centre, says she has been forced to home school daughters Aimee-Rose, six, right, and Lilah-Grace, four, left, after constant bullying at their Birmingham school

Michelle Murray, centre, says she has been forced to home school daughters Aimee-Rose, six, right, and Lilah-Grace, four, left, after constant bullying at their Birmingham school

The mother of three, who lives in Kings Norton with plumber husband Daniel, said she made the decision to home educate her girls two weeks ago after more than a year of ‘bullying’. 

She said the torment began in September 2017 when Aimee-Rose was just five and in Year 1.

Mrs Murray said: ‘Everything was fine when she started in reception. Then in Year 1, she was physically assaulted by a group of boys who pulled a clump of hair out of her head.

‘She came home with a bald patch that bad I had to cut her hair to cover it up. To see someone hurt your child like that, well, it just broke me.’

Mrs Murray said she went to speak to the Academy Head, the Head of School and the Safeguarding Teacher about the incident.

‘They said it was my daughter’s fault, that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time,’ said the full time mum, who also has a one year old son called Jax.

‘And that they weren’t going to do anything about it.’

She claimed the problems continued when Lilah-Grace started reception in September 2018 when the bullies also turned their attention to her.

Mrs Murray said: ‘Lilah-Grace was born premature so she’s small and has learning difficulties which means she can’t talk properly.

‘She said she was playing on the playground at lunchtime and a girl came and said she didn’t want to play with her and threw her across the playground into the mud.

‘Lilah-Grace was smothered in mud, it was all up one side of her body and she had grazes on her arms, legs and her face where she’d been pushed across the floor on her chin. She was just four.’

Mrs Murray said she went to the teachers again but the girls continued to be bullied, both verbally and physically.

Lilah-Grace's brusies pictured on her chin
Mrs Murray said Lilah-Grace, pictured, was thrown into mud despite being just four years old

Mrs Murray said Lilah-Grace, pictured, was thrown into mud despite being just four years old. Her bruises are pictured left and right

She also claimed she began to suffer bullying herself at school drop off and pick up times too from other parents.

Mrs Murray said: ‘One of the girl’s mums started harassing me on the playground and her friends joined in too.

‘In the end, I had to stop going to pick up the girls after school because I didn’t want to be in that atmsophere. My husband had to go instead. They never said anything to him.’

Mrs Murray said she considered going to the police but felt reassured when the headteacher and safeguarding teacher said they would investigate the situation.

But she claims this did not resolve the issue. 

Mrs Murray said: ‘I was called into a meeting and told it was my daughter’s fault because she didn’t want to be friends with the people who were bullying her any more.

‘They said they had talked to my daughter and she said she’d fallen out with this girl.

‘I expressed how concerned I was and that I didn’t think this response fitted with their bullying policy, which is supposed to be all about ensuring pupil safety.

‘I said I didn’t feel safe at the school myself, let alone my children and that I was going to take them out of school.

‘Their response was simply that if I was going to home school them, I’d need to write a letter to take their names off the admissions register, which I did.’

The Reynolds sisters left Ark Kings in the middle of January 2018 and have been home schooled ever since.

A spokesman for Ark Kings Academy said: ‘We take the safeguarding and wellbeing of our pupils very seriously at Ark Kings.

‘We have extensive feedback from parents who feel their children are well-supported by the school.

‘To help with this, we have robust complaints and anti-bullying policies that we follow at all times.

‘Whenever concerns are raised by parents or pupils, we investigate them thoroughly and resolve them promptly.

‘In this instance, we have not received a complaint from the parent.’

Mrs Murray claims she sent two handwritten letters of complaints to the headteacher but ‘got no response’.

The girls have also been hurt on their arms, pictured
Mrs Murray, who also has a one-year-old son, said she had no option but to remove the girls

Mrs Murray, who also has a one-year-old son, said she had no option but to remove the girls due to the abuse. Pictured left and right is bruising on Lilah-Grace’s arm

She added: ‘I even wrote a letter asking for a response about removing the girls off their registers so I had a copy to show the home ed team at the council if they got in touch with me.

‘I still haven’t heard anything from them.’

Mrs Murray said she also wrote to Ofsted but was told the government education standards body does not investigate individual cases so her complaint was referred to Birmingham City Council.

An email from the council said: ‘The Education Safeguarding team has received a copy of the complaint you sent to Ofsted regarding Ark

‘Kings Academy school as Ofsted do not investigate individual cases.

‘We are therefore reluctant to investigate your particular case. In order to ensure that all complaints are dealt with fairly and appropriately there is a formal process in place that should be followed with school complaints.

‘The school you are concerned about should have their formal complaints procedure published on their website.

‘Before your complaint can be looked at by the Local Authority (in the case of maintained schools) or the Regional Schools Commissioner (in the case of Academies) in the majority of instances a complaint will need to be investigated by the Head Teacher and /or by the Governing Body.

‘Therefore you will need to raise your complaint directly with the school for them to action, you mention that you have already spoken to the Heads, but you need to raise your concerns with them formally and ask for an investigation and written response.

‘If you remain unhappy with the outcome of their investigation and feel that there are remain outstanding safeguarding concerns you then challenge the Head’s report and ask the Governing Body to formally investigate. 

‘It is only after this stage that the Education Safeguarding team can consider an investigation into your complaint.’

Mrs Murray said she was still concerned for her daughters if she moved them to a different school. 

She added: ‘They are both scared in case they get bullied again at another school. 

‘I’m really upset because you do everything for your children, you fight for them. I’ve gone to these people for help and they’ve refused it.

‘Home schooling is really hard. I have a one year old son and it’s difficult to try to get the girls to focus on what they should be doing at school.

‘My eldest daughter keeps saying “Bullies are really horrible, I just can’t take it Mummy”. 

‘And my youngest has changed, becoming so shy and timid and clingy to me. It’s heartbreaking to see.’ 

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