Grandad’s anger at lack of information from Wigan school over 'mystery incident'

A Wigan man has voiced his “grave concerns” over the way a primary school has handled a mysterious incident between his grandson and a member of staff.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 3:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th February 2020, 2:34 pm
Canon Sharples CE Primary School
Canon Sharples CE Primary School

Matthew Hodgson, the legal guardian of the five-year-old boy, says Canon Sharples Primary has remained tight-lipped over an incident involving the boy and a member of staff, which occurred last year.

Mr Hodgson, who has taken his grandson out of the Whelley school until he receives a full explanation, claimed the school was trying to “sweep it under the carpet”.

The school, however, says full safeguarding procedures were followed and that its policies were “robust” in meeting the required standards.

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Mr Hodgson said: “We got a call back in September from the headteacher, saying there was an incident involving our grandson and a member of staff back in May, that ‘may not have been handled appropriately’.

“That was the only information they gave us.

“We had grave concerns, and we pulled him out of school immediately and said we wouldn’t be bringing him back until they’d given us more information.

“About a week later, they asked us to come in for a meeting. They wanted to give us some reassurance.

“They said that whoever had done this had been moved to another part of the school. Not removed, just moved.”

He added: “Just before Christmas, we pulled him out of school again and made numerous complaints about this.

“Then a couple of weeks later, in the new year, we got a letter of conclusion from the school, saying the incident had been dealt with and they could not tell us any more.

“I warned them that I would be going to the police if they didn’t tell me, which I have done.”

After speaking to the headteacher, Jennifer Woodcock, Mr Hodgson believes his grandson may have been assaulted by a member of staff, but this has never been confirmed or denied.

He has also been unsuccessful when asking his grandson about what happened.

“He’s five, so it’s difficult. We’ve tried to coax any information out of him.

“It must have been insignificant to him, but it’s more the fact that they’ve tried to sweep it under the carpet.

“It’s totally stupid. In the eyes of the law, we are privy to that information.

“They have to tell us, but they’re just refusing.”

The school’s headteacher, Jennifer Woodcock, said: “A full investigation was undertaken into the complaints made and the school was shown to have followed all safeguarding policies and procedures.

“The school has robust safeguarding policies and procedures in place that fully meet the standards required.”