Eight-year-old excluded from primary school

18/11/14- Lisa and Kai Knight from Hastings. SUS-141118-171404001
18/11/14- Lisa and Kai Knight from Hastings. SUS-141118-171404001

The mother of an eight-year-old boy, excluded from a local primary school, has blasted authorities for their decision and claims her son was unfairly dismissed.

Lisa Knight’s son, Kai, attended the Baird Primary Academy in Parker Road. Kai was recently permanently excluded following allegations of bullying and physical assaults, culminating in Kai swearing in class, but Lisa claims Kai was the victim of bullying, not the instigator and though Kai has behavioural and emotional problems, the school did not take this into account nor the years of tests and treatments.

She said: “Kai was born prematurely and wasn’t right since he was a baby. From the age of 23 months he has been under the hospital and various medical agencies. The school has details of all medical reports.”

Lisa says Kai, who now attends New Horizons School, was easily led by other children and undergoing tests for Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) but claims the school refused to listen. She said: “Bullying was not dealt with and Kai began to retaliate. When faced with injustices he will, through his illness, go into complete rage/meltdown. My son was stitched up by other children for things he had not done. Kai was expelled for swearing in class but not the bullying child who told him to say it - in my book they should both be in trouble.”

Lisa said staff at the school were advised how to handle Kai yet refused to meet her halfway. “The teacher I spoke to sees herself as a medical expert and says Kai is a naughty boy not a child with a mental disability.”

To protect pupil confidentiality, principal of the Baird Academy, Tsai Tenn, said she was unable to comment on Kai’s exclusion, but stated: “We are committed to rapidly improving our academy and hold the highest expectations for all our pupils. Our policy focuses on positive aspects, including every child’s right to learn in a safe environment. A breach of policy is fully investigated, documented and appropriate sanctions and support put in place. The decision to permanently exclude a pupil is not taken lightly. I have a duty of care to protect the right to learning and the safety and wellbeing of all pupils, in line with statutory guidance and Ofsted’s high standards.”

A spokesman for The Hastings Academies Trust, which runs the Baird Academy, said: “Very occasionally a decision is made to permanently exclude a student or pupil, when all other alternative sanctions and strategies have been exhausted. The decision is reviewed by the trust’s Exclusions Panel. The panel is comprised of representatives who have no knowledge of the student and no involvement in the incident(s) in question.”