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Grantham father claims Harrowby Primary School ‘failed’ his seven-year-old son

A father feels his seven year old son has been “failed” by his previous primary school.

Luke Carter claims Harrowby C of E Primary School has “failed” his son, who he wished not to be named, on multiple issues.

These include inconsistent teachers, teaching assistants having to teach classes and issues with bullying.

Harrowby Primary School.
Harrowby Primary School.

The school said it is “very sorry” to hear that the issues have not been resolved.

Mr Carter said that when his son was in Year 2, his teacher had taken on a new leadership role in school which “ultimately led to the teacher having less time to teach the class”.

He said: “This meant a shared approach to teaching the class was undertaken by the school with the existing teacher, who was now head of school, teaching two days a week and the remaining three days a week taught by another teacher.

“However in reality this wasn't always the case. Most weeks the three days a week teacher taught the class, and the remaining two days were taught by different supply teachers, so they were actually taught by three and sometimes four different teachers in a week.

“This has had a detrimental effect on our son's learning and progression through inconsistent teachers.”

Tamara Allen, deputy CEO of Lincoln Anglican Academy Trust (LAAT) which oversees the school, replied to this issue.

She stated Ms Baldwin, who took on the headteacher role, had “additional time to fulfil these leadership duties” and that it was a “perfectly normal teaching model”.

She added: “Ms Baldwin is a highly experienced and exceptional teacher.

“She brings with her a wealth of teaching expertise, and leadership skills for the benefit of Harrowby, its pupils and their families.

“Regarding Mr Carter’s concerns over TAs in charge of classes, whilst Ms Baldwin will be [Mr Carter’s son’s] class teacher, she will not teach Year 3 for every lesson, because, like all teachers she will have weekly time out of the classroom to plan, prepare and assess (PPA) learning and then teaching.”

On the issue of bullying, Mr Carter said the school “failed to implement any procedures” when his son reported incidents.

He added: “Again, disruption to his education needlessly when if they had followed procedure and dealt with the incidents correctly, there wouldn't have been a need to remove him from school for two days.”

The school was formerly Harrowby Infants School, until it was announced last year it would become a primary school.

In 2021, it joined LAAT and it has been “working hard to make improvements at the school”, added Ms Allen.

Mr Carter believes the changes have had the “opposite effect”.

He believes the school needs to “improve in many areas”.

He added: “For the school to improve then they need to actually take parents' concerns and criticism genuinely and don't brush them under the carpet like they have done with us.

“The school will only improve if the trust has the intention of improving the school, which at the moment seems very unlikely.

Ms Allen added: “We are very sorry to hear that Mr Carter doesn’t feel his issues have been resolved.

“I understand that the school’s executive head, Gareth Smith, has been in constant communication with Mr Carter for a number of months, working hard to allay his concerns. Providing extensive information on the leadership and teaching plans, and latterly information on how to raise a complaint with the board of governors and provided information on the Trust’s formal complaints procedure, neither of which Mr Carter has proceeded with to date.”

Mr Carter’s son will be moving to a new school.

He concluded: “Our hope for our son at his new school is that he can thrive and be successful in his education.

“He is a bright boy and given the correct teaching, education and support we have every faith he will succeed.

“He has the potential to be far more successful in his education and with the support of the new school we are sure it won't be long until we see a change in this.”

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