Mom’s angry about being banned from school after headmaster shares her private information
Sally Willis claimed that her kids' school banned her after protesting to the headteacher sharing her personal information which she thinks was a breach of data protection.
Willis, 39, from Blurton in Stoke-on-Trent, has been banned from Heron Cross Primary School in Staffordshire for one year after falling out with the headteacher, Dorrie Shenton.
As reported by StokeonTrentLive, the enraged mother can still pick up and drop off her youngsters at the gate of the school. However, she's not permitted to set foot on school grounds.
Willis is also disallowed to go to parents' nights or other occasions and should use a local authority intermediary for updates on her children's progress.
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According to Willis, she was restricted from the premises by Shenton when she questioned the headteacher sharing her personal information.
“I can’t even talk to the school about my children’s education. They have someone working as a go-between who tells me about what is going on. It’s very frustrating,” she told StokeonTrentLive.
The issues with the school begun when Willis was facing redundancy and inquired as to whether she could volunteer at Heron Cross as a teaching assistant.
However, she claims that Shenton advised her she couldn’t as her fights with postnatal depression allegedly implied she was a high risk to children.
Willis then filed a complaint against the school and requested to have her concerns heard by a board of governors.
However, the school dropped her complaint, even though she denies this is the situation.
“About three-and-a-half years ago I had postnatal depression, and in June this year I was being made redundant and went to the headteacher to ask about volunteering work," Willis explained.
“She said no, which was fine, but when I said about other schools she said teachers talk and because I had mental health issues I was a high risk to children. I felt this was a breach of data protection to discuss my personal information."
She added, “I escalated it to the council who did an investigation. I apparently said I didn’t want the complaint to continue, but that isn’t true. On top of that my eight-year-old son was sent home with a folder that contained other pupil’s details which is another breach of data protection.”
Now, Willis is calling on the school to recognize her complaint about information assurance and for both the school and city council to enhance how they manage individuals who have combat depression.
“I’m not happy with how the school or council is treating people who have postnatal depression and I want it to be stopped," she said.
In a letter, Rob Johnstone, from Stoke-on-Trent City Council, defended the school’s action to ban Willis from the premises. He stated, “Our enquiries have established that you visited the school on Thursday, June 28 and met with the school business manager at your request, to discuss your formal complaint regarding the headteacher.
“At the conclusion of this meeting you advised the school business manager that you would not be pursuing the complaint as you felt it was not going to ‘get you anywhere’. From the school’s perspective, the complaint was therefore closed and there was no requirement for them to escalate to the third stage of the complaints procedure which is a governors’ complaints panel. We have no evidence to suggest the school’s recollection of events is incorrect.
“In this case, having reviewed the documentation, the decision to ban you from the premises was unrelated to the handling of your complaints. It was instead carried out in line with the Department for Education’s guidance ‘Advice on school security: Access to, and barring of individuals from school premises’.”
StokeonTrentLive reported that Heron Cross Primary declined to comment.