William Parker Academy defends bullying claims

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A concerned father has criticised the lack of help he says he has had in protecting his son from bullying at the ARK William Parker Academy.

Trefor Holloway, from Deason Road, says his son, Thomas, has been bullied for four years and claimed the school has failed to take successful action to stop the bullying.

Mark Phillips, the principal of ARK William Parker Academy, defended its anti-bullying policies.

He said: “We are only one year into a new structure and we know that Ofsted was concerned about this issue at the previous school.”

Mr Holloway contacted the

Mr Holloway said: “I want to go public because the police and academy’s response has been ineffective.

“My son has been frightened and it has made his last few years a nightmare. He will leave school soon but it may help other kids.

“The academy should take note. Other schools in the town don’t have this problem.”

However, Mr Phillips added: “We have put in place a robust structure to deal with all aspects of bullying. We make sure pupils know who to go to if there is a problem.

“My priority above all else is ensuring all children feel safe and happy. We have facilities and staff support available for kids who feel vulnerable.

“We use an organisation called Human Utopia to address the issues. Last summer all of the children now in year 11 undertook sessions with them.”

Inspector Chris Veale, of Hastings Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “I can confirm an allegation of assault was reported to police.

“A specialist schools liaison officer has been dealing with the investigation, working with both the school and the victim’s family.”

Insp Veale added: “Police continue to support Hastings schools and we are meeting with representatives from William Parker to discuss problem-solving activity and to ensure that firm action is taken against bullying.”

Mr Holloway said some new members of staff showed signs they could make a difference but added: “Until we get a resolution, I am not happy being fobbed off. What happens to the next lad?”