Leading primary school 'shuts children as young as five with special needs in a cramped isolation room if they misbehave' .
Screaming pupils have kicked and headbutted the walls of the 5ft by 6ft room at Caddington Village School near Luton in Bedfordshire, according to a newspaper which says it is reporting claims by whistleblowers.
Shocking photographs of the room show a grubby carpet, rubber mat and scuff marks on the wall which could have been left by children who kicked out. A whistleblower said: 'These are the school's most vulnerable children and they are carried kicking and screaming to this cupboard. It's traumatising for them.'
But Central Bedfordshire Council insisted it was built in 2010 as a 'calming room' for one child with severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A five-year-old with behaviour problems was said to have been carried screaming from the dining hall to the room by two teachers holding her arms. Sources claimed that another boy placed in the room was heard headbutting the walls while a seven-year-old boy with ADHD was regularly held there.
A council spokesman said 'Central Bedfordshire Council takes any allegations of mistreatment of children seriously and whilst the concerns that have been published in the press have not been put to us directly, we have contacted the school they have confirmed that when pupils use the room they are supervised at all times by a minimum of two staff’.
'The use of the room is fully documented and parents are informed on all occasions. Whilst this initial response is reassuring, the use of such rooms is governed by national guidance and we will further investigate whether this has been the case at Caddington.'
A school spokesman added: 'We take the care and safety of our pupils seriously at Caddington Village School. All staff who manage the behaviour of children with additional needs are appropriately trained. When pupils use the quiet spaces at Caddington, it is either because they take themselves there to calm down, or they are taken there by trained staff because they are at risk of harming themselves or others.
Pupils are supervised the whole time they are in the room, and in one case a parent was also present. The parents of the children were informed on all occasions. The use of the quiet space is reported to Governors and monitored. We are open to the council reviewing our practice and procedures.'