This story is subject to a legal complaint from Mrs Taylor's solicitors.


THE head teacher of a Stourbridge primary school has been found to have flouted child safety laws during a car trip.

Kerry Taylor has been ‘unable to carry out her duties’ at Amblecote Primary School since March, having only taken over at the start of the year.

A parent claimed Mrs Taylor crammed five people, including herself, into a four-seat car on the way to an extra-curricular event – meaning two children had to share a seatbelt, which is against the law.

The parent’s complaint was upheld by the school’s governors, who admitted the child was ‘transported unsafely’.

June Lewis, chair of governors at Amblecote Primary School, said: “The school are dealing with matters in accordance with their internal procedures.”

The governors also upheld a further complaint about the head teacher’s initial response to the parent, relying on evidence from the parent and staff, because they had been unable to obtain comments from the head teacher.

The angry mother, who did not wish to be named, agreed for her child to attend a ‘Gifted and Talented’ event in March and to be ‘escorted there and back in a fully insured staff member’s car’.

However, on the child’s arrival home they told their mother they had shared a seatbelt with another pupil in Mrs Taylor’s ‘very small car’.

The unhappy parent stormed into school to speak to the head, who she said ‘aggressively’ denied the child’s version of events, causing the pupil to cry.

The parent said: “Without giving me the chance to speak, she very aggressively announced to me that of course there were enough seatbelts in her car.

“She then turned to [the child] and aggressively said ‘Why have you said that? Of course you had a seatbelt on!’ This made [the child] cry.

“I was not happy with her response and she suggested we spoke alone in her office where she eventually admitted that she didn’t check the children were strapped in and she was very sorry.”

The parent said she was told the car had five seats, with a lap belt in the middle, but, unsatisfied with the response, she checked the vehicle and found two back seats and only two seatbelts.

She says she again confronted the head, saying: “I asked why she had lied to me, why she felt it was okay to put my child at risk and why she had previously shouted at me and [child].

“I asked her if she was aware of how serious that situation could have been if there had been an accident.”

She added: “I have three children at Amblecote Primary and have never had reason to be concerned about their safety and wellbeing until now.

“My family and I are distraught that [the child] was so carelessly put into such a dangerous situation and I am shocked and appalled at how the situation was handled by her when I came to address it.

“My child has also been very upset as she was shouted at and essentially called a liar by her headteacher when she knew that [the child] was telling the truth.”

The parent made an official complaint soon after the event and, less than a week later, parents were sent a letter saying ‘at the present time Mrs Taylor is unable to carry out her duties’, with an acting head stepping in.

The News has seen a copy of the governors’ response to the parent, which upheld her complaint, saying the risk assessment procedure was ‘not properly managed by the headteacher’.

It added: “The headteacher was required to ensure that her vehicle was fit for purpose before signing off the risk assessment and undertaking the journey.

“I am satisfied that the evidence proves that your child was transported unsafely.”

The governors’ response also upheld the parent’s complaint over the head’s reaction, saying: “As the headteacher has not been in school I have been unable to obtain her version of these events.

“Nonetheless on the basis of the evidence provided by you and the school’s staff, I am satisfied that the evidence demonstrates that your recollection of these events is correct.

“I would therefore like to apologise on behalf of the school for the manner in which you and your child were treated.”