Wigan school slammed for chaining up toilets and running out of food

Parents of pupils at a Wigan school are up in arms after their children came home complaining that toilets were locked and the canteen had run out of food.

Thursday, 6th September 2018, 12:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th September 2018, 5:06 pm
Pupil photos showed toilets had been gated and locked
Pupil photos showed toilets had been gated and locked

Dozens of students at Rose Bridge Academy reported going hungry on Tuesday afternoon after the canteen ran out of food at lunchtime.

Furious hoardes of parents are also demanding answers from the Ince school after pictures emerged of gated-up toilets, with pupils saying that they were not allowed to go to the bathroom during lesson time.

Tracey Winstanley, whose daughter Courtney has just started in Year 10, has since set up a petition to have the toilets unlocked.

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“My daughter isn't in school today. No one tells my child when they can go to the toilet, especially teenage girls.

“Prisoners are treated better than this - ultimate joke. Until they stop getting treated like prisoners, she won't be going back in.

"What does the headteacher think he is going to achieve?

“As if the school didn’t have enough bad press. I will get a petition to deal with him and this situation.”

Another parent, who contacted the Post anonymously, said: “Rose Bridge are ridiculous. The kids are not being fed properly and the toilets are locked - what about human rights? My daughter said when she went for dinner there was only biscuits, cakes and pasta left. So she asked for four biscuits they then told her she can only have three.”

According to Louise Westhead, mum to 13-year-old Rose Bridge student Harvey, the reception was full of angry parents on Wednesday morning. She described how teachers were attempting to control the situation.

“The school was full of children crying and parents shouting,” said Louise. “The teachers are doing their best which is all we can hope for. They were on the front line trying to deal with it - and you could tell they were frustrated by what was happening too.

“The head was nowhere to be seen.”

Barry Bridden, headteacher at The Dean Trust has commented on the complaints, reassuring parents that there are sufficient toilet facilities for the students to use during lesson-time.

He has also assessed numerous complaints about "military" uniform rules which have resulted in threats of isolation for dozens of pupils.

‘’In response to recent inquiries about uniform standards at Rose Bridge Academy, The Dean Trust / CFAT confirm that we have, with the support of the majority of parents/guardians, improved standards of academic rigour, behaviour and uniform at the academy," said Mr Bridden.

"The Dean Trust has also always proved to be very successful in raising the self-esteem and aspirations of pupils through the implementation of clear uniform standards. This is proving to be no different at Rose Bridge Academy. We believe that the new uniform standards will set the tone for what will be a very productive and successful year for Rose Bridge Academy.’’

‘’We would also like to confirm that we have 13 sets of toilets at the academy that are available for our children to use and that no child is denied a right to use these facilities. One set of toilets, when not in use (during lesson times), is locked but we have 12 other toilet facilities available throughout the academy for our pupils to use.’’

Parents and pupils of the troubled school returned from the summer holidays to find it has been taken over by a fast-growing education trust.

The academy, which is in special measures following two damning Oftsed reviews, is to be sponsored by The Dean Trust, led by charismatic chief executive Tarun Kapur.

The trust, which also runs the former Abraham Guest Academy, has been credited with turning around some of the region’s most troubled schools.

Despite being approved back in June, following the appointment of headteacher Brian Bridden and a new senior team, the move has been kept under wraps by bosses. It was only revealed after Lancashire and West Yorkshire Headteacher Board published the latest minutes on its website this week.

Jack Pugh, chair of trustees at Community First Academy Trust, which was in charge of Rose Bridge Academy, said: "Community First Academy Trust can confirm that they have been discussing the rebrokerage of Rose Bridge Academy with the Department for Education for a number of months. In June the Department for Education confirmed that The Dean Trust would take over the running of the academy, subject to due diligence procedures.

“Following this decision and to ensure that the rebrokerage caused as little disruption as possible, leaders from The Dean Trust were welcomed into the academy during the summer term so that they can start to put in place plans for the up-coming academic year.”

To view Tracy's petition click here.