Shameful failure in a duty of care

NO-ONE can fail to be moved by the words of Tanya Cooper after yesterday’s inquest into her son’s death.

She sent him to school, as was her duty. But Kyle Rees did not come home because the school, its head and staff failed in their duty.

Mrs Cooper will probably take no comfort from the outcome of the inquest or from the words of Portchester’s executive headteacher, Debbie Godfrey-Phaure. It is to the school’s discredit that her statement makes no mention of the sometimes chaotic and disorderly environment that was so clearly outlined by some teachers. Parents of other pupils will have been dismayed by what they have read and heard from the inquest.

The credit in this tragedy belongs to Mrs Cooper and her family for their dignity in the most awful circumstances and to Kyle’s friends who have raised money for Southampton Hospital by selling wristbands in his memory. They have all been let down by a shameful failure

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:55pm Fri 30 Nov 12

portia6 says...

Its such a shame that Kyle died in a
playground which, I assumed was
a safe environment. I know schools
have to keep an eye on their pupils
especially at playtime and when I
worked in schools we had to supervise
and watch them all the time. Its not easy
when they are teenagers and we all
know boys can be vary unpredictable!
Its such a shame that Kyle died in a playground which, I assumed was a safe environment. I know schools have to keep an eye on their pupils especially at playtime and when I worked in schools we had to supervise and watch them all the time. Its not easy when they are teenagers and we all know boys can be vary unpredictable! portia6

9:51pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Mellucia says...

Well it says it all the coroner works for bmth council so does the school it was even held at the town hall so of course they were going to walk away Scott free the school already had a well known bad name disgusting the head should have resigned out of respect
Well it says it all the coroner works for bmth council so does the school it was even held at the town hall so of course they were going to walk away Scott free the school already had a well known bad name disgusting the head should have resigned out of respect Mellucia

8:06am Sat 1 Dec 12

Lord Spring says...

I can remember when a coach carrying pupils from that school caught fire.
Not certain what the cause was, but odd that a certain element were on board that day
I can remember when a coach carrying pupils from that school caught fire. Not certain what the cause was, but odd that a certain element were on board that day Lord Spring

8:09am Sat 1 Dec 12

retry69 says...

I would be interested if they would make the author of the opinion known or is it the overall feeling of the Echo?
I would be interested if they would make the author of the opinion known or is it the overall feeling of the Echo? retry69

9:38am Sat 1 Dec 12

jinglebell says...

Years ago attended a local school where discipline was strict but fair. One day, I watched from inside our school building, as what started as a game in the playground between some boys throwing balls at each other suddenly started to take a bad turn. Suddenly, it was almost like a riot with boys throwing all kinds of things at each other. Teachers tried briefly to sort things out.
Within no time at all, however, a number of police arrived in a van and restored order. All the boys were marshalled into the main hall.
A few of my friends had been involved. They told me later the police told them that what they had been doing was a criminal offence and they could be prosecuted. This could result in having a criminal record, which would be on file for the rest of their lives. It was assault with intent.
The boys were left in the hall as all their parents were contacted and asked to come into the school.
No one was charged with a criminal offence, however, I do believe they were cautioned. This behaviour never happened again.
Sadly, its obvious this kind of behaviour has been commonplace at Porchester and worse than that, the Head has chosen to ignore it.
I feel so sick at the thought of how this poor family must be feeling at listening to the statement made by the Headteacher, which could only have made them feel even more despair.
Years ago attended a local school where discipline was strict but fair. One day, I watched from inside our school building, as what started as a game in the playground between some boys throwing balls at each other suddenly started to take a bad turn. Suddenly, it was almost like a riot with boys throwing all kinds of things at each other. Teachers tried briefly to sort things out. Within no time at all, however, a number of police arrived in a van and restored order. All the boys were marshalled into the main hall. A few of my friends had been involved. They told me later the police told them that what they had been doing was a criminal offence and they could be prosecuted. This could result in having a criminal record, which would be on file for the rest of their lives. It was assault with intent. The boys were left in the hall as all their parents were contacted and asked to come into the school. No one was charged with a criminal offence, however, I do believe they were cautioned. This behaviour never happened again. Sadly, its obvious this kind of behaviour has been commonplace at Porchester and worse than that, the Head has chosen to ignore it. I feel so sick at the thought of how this poor family must be feeling at listening to the statement made by the Headteacher, which could only have made them feel even more despair. jinglebell

1:51pm Sat 1 Dec 12

muscliffman says...

Lord Spring wrote:
I can remember when a coach carrying pupils from that school caught fire.
Not certain what the cause was, but odd that a certain element were on board that day
Long. long history on this topic I recall, that Portchester School's buses and coaches have been regularly trashed by pupils and on more then one occasion their school special buses have even been withdrawn - sometime permanently.
At the time (only a few years ago) my colleagues's experience was that school staff then were not afraid of tackling these incidents with the kids - just simply not bothered. A 'not our problem roll on half-past three' attitude appeared to prevail.
Has this changed?
[quote][p][bold]Lord Spring[/bold] wrote: I can remember when a coach carrying pupils from that school caught fire. Not certain what the cause was, but odd that a certain element were on board that day[/p][/quote]Long. long history on this topic I recall, that Portchester School's buses and coaches have been regularly trashed by pupils and on more then one occasion their school special buses have even been withdrawn - sometime permanently. At the time (only a few years ago) my colleagues's experience was that school staff then were not afraid of tackling these incidents with the kids - just simply not bothered. A 'not our problem roll on half-past three' attitude appeared to prevail. Has this changed? muscliffman

5:45pm Sat 1 Dec 12

s-pb2 says...

The way people are carrying on its as if bad behaviour in schools is something new and only in this school. Well wakeup everyone!! Bad behaviour occurs in every school in the country and has done for decades. The many centuries ago when I was at school, we had inter-school fighting in the middle of the street, wrecked buses, teacher-pupil fights, exclusions and so on and that was in a highly regarded reputable school. It seems half the people here still think schools are like those portrayed in Billy Bunter. Yet again we see here the locals with their pitchforks and burning torches, demanding someones bloodied head on a plate. Someone is even claiming here a Town Hall conspiracy, they really ought to get out more and meet some human beings. Someone yesterday even wanted 'an eye for an eye'. Seriously. As usual a typical overreaction from the pitchforks when what occurred was as the inquest stated 'a tragic accident'.
The way people are carrying on its as if bad behaviour in schools is something new and only in this school. Well wakeup everyone!! Bad behaviour occurs in every school in the country and has done for decades. The many centuries ago when I was at school, we had inter-school fighting in the middle of the street, wrecked buses, teacher-pupil fights, exclusions and so on and that was in a highly regarded reputable school. It seems half the people here still think schools are like those portrayed in Billy Bunter. Yet again we see here the locals with their pitchforks and burning torches, demanding someones bloodied head on a plate. Someone is even claiming here a Town Hall conspiracy, they really ought to get out more and meet some human beings. Someone yesterday even wanted 'an eye for an eye'. Seriously. As usual a typical overreaction from the pitchforks when what occurred was as the inquest stated 'a tragic accident'. s-pb2

10:23am Sun 2 Dec 12

Tripod says...

When Schools ban the kids from Playing Conkers it's the health & safety gone mad, nanny state (blah blah blah), when a school allows kids to throw balls in the playground it's a Shameful Failure in a Duty of Care; whatever happens it's a lose-lose for the school, is it any wonder the schools clam-up and only speak through official statements.
When Schools ban the kids from Playing Conkers it's the health & safety gone mad, nanny state (blah blah blah), when a school allows kids to throw balls in the playground it's a Shameful Failure in a Duty of Care; whatever happens it's a lose-lose for the school, is it any wonder the schools clam-up and only speak through official statements. Tripod

6:03pm Tue 4 Dec 12

stevobath says...

s-pb2 wrote:
The way people are carrying on its as if bad behaviour in schools is something new and only in this school. Well wakeup everyone!! Bad behaviour occurs in every school in the country and has done for decades. The many centuries ago when I was at school, we had inter-school fighting in the middle of the street, wrecked buses, teacher-pupil fights, exclusions and so on and that was in a highly regarded reputable school. It seems half the people here still think schools are like those portrayed in Billy Bunter. Yet again we see here the locals with their pitchforks and burning torches, demanding someones bloodied head on a plate. Someone is even claiming here a Town Hall conspiracy, they really ought to get out more and meet some human beings. Someone yesterday even wanted 'an eye for an eye'. Seriously. As usual a typical overreaction from the pitchforks when what occurred was as the inquest stated 'a tragic accident'.
The school you mentioned sounds suspiciously like my old school,especially the fighting with another school which happened to be Porchester! All those involved were marched home & police called before ANYTHING happened.It wasnt pleasant either for the boys & GIRLS involved,as they endured ridicule in a special assembly!

I seen the 'Eye for an Eye' comment.How disgusting that a parent would make such a comment.

You only had to hear Tanya Coopers statement to see she handled this trauma with dignity & made special attention to speak up for the lad who threw the ball.It was an accident after all.
[quote][p][bold]s-pb2[/bold] wrote: The way people are carrying on its as if bad behaviour in schools is something new and only in this school. Well wakeup everyone!! Bad behaviour occurs in every school in the country and has done for decades. The many centuries ago when I was at school, we had inter-school fighting in the middle of the street, wrecked buses, teacher-pupil fights, exclusions and so on and that was in a highly regarded reputable school. It seems half the people here still think schools are like those portrayed in Billy Bunter. Yet again we see here the locals with their pitchforks and burning torches, demanding someones bloodied head on a plate. Someone is even claiming here a Town Hall conspiracy, they really ought to get out more and meet some human beings. Someone yesterday even wanted 'an eye for an eye'. Seriously. As usual a typical overreaction from the pitchforks when what occurred was as the inquest stated 'a tragic accident'.[/p][/quote]The school you mentioned sounds suspiciously like my old school,especially the fighting with another school which happened to be Porchester! All those involved were marched home & police called before ANYTHING happened.It wasnt pleasant either for the boys & GIRLS involved,as they endured ridicule in a special assembly! I seen the 'Eye for an Eye' comment.How disgusting that a parent would make such a comment. You only had to hear Tanya Coopers statement to see she handled this trauma with dignity & made special attention to speak up for the lad who threw the ball.It was an accident after all. stevobath

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree