A HYPERACTIVE primary pupil has been banned from the school playground for the past 18 months, his parents claimed today.
Reece Philp, 8, is forced to stay indoors during morning breaks while his schoolmates enjoy exercising in the open air, according to his mother and father, Lorraine and John.
Reece suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) but his parents say medication has improved his behaviour in recent months.
The pupil at St Bride’s primary, Cowdenbeath, Fife, is said to have been banned from the playground by school staff.
John said: “For around 18 months Reece has been losing several hours education a week but over the past few months his behavioural problems have greatly improved.
“Although I have repeatedly tried to approach the headteacher at St Bride’s I have not been able to get a response.”
John said his son has been on regular medication for his condition and his behaviour has much improved.
Reece spends mornings at St Bride’s and, in the afternoon attends a behavioural support unit at Lumphinnans primary, a 20 minute walk away.
Lorraine said: “The staff at Lumphinnans have been very helpful and Reece has come on greatly with their support.
“But…this ruling which stops him going out into the playground St Bride’s is starting to pull him well behind other Primary 4 pupils.
“Our concern is that if this is not sorted out soon he will get further and further behind his peers.”
John claims his son is seen as a “problem” and alleges staff will not respond to his or his wife’s efforts to communicate their concerns.
He went on: “Make no mistake when the doctors were finding out what volume of medication was needed to control his condition he was boisterous but that has all changed now.
“I cannot believe that staff at St Bride’s cannot see this and that something cannot be done to allow him to have a proper education.
“It is as if they do not want to know at all. Every time we have tried to speak to the head teacher we have not been afforded the opportunity, and Reece’s education is being badly affected.
“We want to know why he is allowed to play at Lumphinnans and not at St Bride’s.
“This is simply not good enough.”
Head teacher, Eileen Chapman said: “St Bride’s has an open door policy and parents with any concerns about their children can always talk to me or another member of staff. In a recent report, HMIe inspectors praised us for being a caring school, particularly good at supporting children with additional needs, depending on their own circumstances. We talk to children, their parents and other professionals as appropriate to make sure we meet the needs of each child so that the time spent in school is a positive experience and supports them in their learning.”
Bryan Kirkaldy, Head of Education North for Fife council said: “It’s not appropriate for us to talk about any one pupil’s school experience as it is not in any child’s best interest.
“However, it’s important to remember that we support every pupil in Fife on an individual basis, according to their specific learning needs.
“Where children have additional support needs, we work closely with them and their families to tailor their learning. Developing and maintaining the right emotional and educational support is complicated and we need the co-operation of families to make progress with pupils.
“All our schools have resources to help children with additional support needs. We have specialised services that we can support primary schools further and we can offer these consultations with families.”