An Essex headteacher was allegedly left “nearly unconscious” in one of a series of attacks by a pupil at her school despite issues over safety being repeatedly raised.
According to headteacher Mandy Copper between December 2018 and October 2020 she was attacked by a pupil with special needs at Wimbish Primary School.
The attacks allegedly included being spat at and having a scarf wrapped around her neck, reports Essex Live.
In January 2019 the 47-year-old headmistress claims she was repeatedly punched and kicked by the pupil to the point where she “nearly passed out”.
Mrs Copper’s husband of 25 years, Nick Copper backed his wife and claims the attacks against her have “destroyed” her mental health.
A spokesperson for Essex County Council confirmed that an Interim Executive Board has been set up at the school following “confidential concerns” and an investigation is currently ongoing.
Mr Cooper, who also worked as a self-employed part-time tutor at the school claims he saw two of the alleged attacks which left his wife too “frightened” to return to school.
“I witnessed my wife being pulled by her hair, out in clumps, and being kicked and stamped, having her glasses pulled off her head and smashed,” Mr Cooper said in relation to an incident in September 2020.
Prior to the abuse suffered, Mr Copper said his wife “loved the school and the pupils” however now, he claims she can’t drive past the school without crying.
Mr Copper stressed that neither he nor his wife blame the pupil but blame the local authority Essex County Council for “failing” to address concerns.
“The pupil is as much a victim in this as anyone else,” he said. “It’s an impossible situation.”
Due to the physical and mental effects of the past two years, Mandy has been on long-term sick leave since mid-March this year, with the school currently run by an executive head.
And to make matters worse, the teacher says he had his own contract terminated in May after the school asked him to reapply for the role he has held for the past six years and he refused.
A spokesperson for Essex County Council, said: “Effective governance is integral in any education setting so that staff can best support and achieve positive outcomes for all pupils.
“Following confidential concerns raised about the previous governance arrangements in place at Wimbish Primary School, the Department for Education gave approval for Essex County Council (ECC), to establish an Interim Executive Board (IEB) at the school… We are in communication with the IEB and will support the return of the headteacher as appropriate.”
They added: “We believe that the articles which have been published are inaccurate and misleading.
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“We cannot comment further because investigations are ongoing and it would be wrong to comment until investigations are complete.”
When the executive head was approached for comment, a spokesperson for Essex County Council said: “The correct procedure and processes have been followed at every stage and we do not recognise the version of events offered by Mr Copper.”
They added that the information provided is “misleading and contains inaccuracies.”
Essex County Council also responded on behalf of Wimbish Primary School when the school was approached for comment.
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