Concern over Tottenham primary school restraint footage

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Media captionConcern over pupil restraint footage

Parents of pupils at a London school have called for an investigation into claims that their children have been restrained without their knowledge.

Footage filmed inside the Harris Primary Academy Coleraine Park, in Tottenham, shows pupils being restrained by staff.

Haringey Council said it was investigating the incidents.

An academy spokesperson said the use of restraint was "very rare, but sometimes necessary".

Footage, which was filmed in July by a former staff member, appears to show a pupil being restrained in the playground by three members of staff and on another occasion a child being led along a corridor by two people.

Sofia, the mother of one of the boys restrained in the footage, has called for the schools watchdog Ofsted to intervene.

"This happened last year... and I have only just recently found out about it and I am angry," she said.

"I've got tears in my eyes because it pains me to see someone manhandling my child like that. It's not right."

'Posing immediate danger'

A Haringey Council spokesperson said: "As would be expected, once we received and reviewed the footage we acted in line with best practice by making Ofsted and the police aware of it.

"We are now conducting our own investigation and will work with the academy, as we would with any Haringey school, to ensure that the welfare of pupils is being managed appropriately."

A spokesperson for the Harris Primary Academy Coleraine Park said: "The use of restraint is very rare, but sometimes necessary for pupils with serious behavioural issues. It is only ever used if they are posing an immediate physical danger to themselves or to other children.

"All staff involved had been trained in how to safely restrain pupils in line with government guidelines. Just as a parent would want to be reassured that restraint is only used when necessary, they would equally want to know that their child would be kept safe from another pupil's violent outburst.

"We believe all young children can learn to behave well so it is our policy not to permanently exclude primary school pupils. Therefore, as was the case with these incidents, preventing them from hurting other children means they have a second chance to stay in mainstream education and thrive."

Image caption Parent Sofia said she had not been made aware that her son had been restrained

The Department of Education advises that reasonable force can be used to prevent pupils from hurting themselves or others, and it is good practice for schools to speak to parents and to consider how to record serious incidents.

Ofsted said it was not currently conducting an investigation into the academy.

In a statement, the watchdog said: "As a new academy, the school will be inspected in due course in accordance with our inspection selection policy, which is available on our website.

"It would be inappropriate to comment about any specific complaints as the outcomes of complaints investigations can be taken forward to the school's next inspection."

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