How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
75100385
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

My 12 year old daughter was accused by a fellow pupil in class

Resolved Question:

My 12 year old daughter was accused by a fellow pupil in class of putting a treasury tag with chewing gum on it in her schoolbag during class. My daughter advised she simply looked on the floor and saw a treasury tag next to the pupils schoolbag and assumed it was hers so she popped it in her bag . She was not aware there was any chewing gum on it. The pupil complained to the teacher.Both children were told to report to the head of years office and write a report of their account of events . Both accounts differed and my daughter was told to report to the heads office at 8.15am the following morning. She did so and the head telephoned me later in the morning to advise he was evaluating both accounts and would decide whether or not he would impose detention on her and phone me back and let me know in case I had to make arrangements to pick her up from school later in the evening. When I had not received a call by 4.00pm I phoned the school and spoke to the heads assistant who informed me he was busy but would call me at 4.10pm after he finished class. He did not. I called again at 5.50pm and spoke to the head who said he does a 12 hour day and is too busy to phone parents !!!. He further told me my daughter had left the school premises at 3.45pm . She in fact was dismissed at 420pm. What he did not tell me was that he had already subjected my daughter to all day detention from 08.15am !!. I only found that out when she came home. She had to report to his office again the following morning and again was subject to detention without me being informed. During the day she was continually questioned by three separate senior members of staff and each time confirmed she was not guilty of doing anything wrong. She was then given an ultimatum either admit she deliberately put the item in the girls bag because she was angry or be excluded from the school. She felt she had no alternative but to wrongly admit being guilty in order not to be excluded. However as soon as she admitted it she was told she would be excluded. ? I have to attend the school with my daughter tomorrow morning in order for her to be reintegrated. My basic question is should I not have had the opportunity of being present when my daughter was questioned as it was deemed to be such a serious offence by the school to warrant exclusion. Should I not have had been informed she was being subjected to detention over two days. Being repeatedly told by three senior teachers to admit she did it over two days and eventually obtaining a "confession" in order to avoid exclusion only to find out that exclusion was then immediately applied. I will be writing a report to all relevant authorities but would like to know what action if any can be taken . Can my daughter retract her false "confession" which I feel was obtained by deception. Tony
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Does the school have a policy about interviewing pupils please?

Customer:

Not that I am aware fo or have been told

Alex Watts :

You need to ask for that as this document is very important.

Alex Watts :

This is because if there is a policy then the school must adhere to it

Customer:

Yes I will

Alex Watts :

In any event if she was forced into the confession then she can withdraw it

Alex Watts :

Clearly this does not particularly help her case.

Alex Watts :

But if she did not understand or realise what she was agreeing to then it can be withdrawn

Alex Watts :

In any event you can take several steps

Alex Watts :

1) complain formally to the school

Alex Watts :

You can set out your concerns and ask them to investigate

Alex Watts :

If you are unhappy with the result then you can take the next step

Alex Watts :

2) Complain to the Local Authority

Alex Watts :

The Council are independent of the school but can investigate complaints

Alex Watts :

The Council will then look at the matters and report back

Alex Watts :

If you are still unhappy you can take the next step

Alex Watts :

3) Complain to the Ombudsman

Alex Watts :

They are independent of the school and Council

Alex Watts :

They can investigate your complaint further, they offer a free service

Alex Watts :

Their website is www.lgo.org.uk

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

I have to attend with my daughter at the school at 7.45am in the morning so she can be reintegrated and

Alex Watts :

Yes.

Alex Watts :

But again they should have a policy

Alex Watts :

They must comply with this policy

Customer:

I wanted to know if she withdraws her "confeesion" will that be detrimental to her case

Alex Watts :

It depends on the circumstances it was obtained.

Alex Watts :

If she was forced or deprived of a break etc, then that is the schools fault

Alex Watts :

If she made it of her own will then it could harm her

Customer:

Their policy states if a child is going to be detained for more than 20 minutes the parents must be informrmed in advance

Alex Watts :

Yes then it must happen

Customer:

I was not informed although I actually spoke to the head by phone during the day when he advised me he was evaluating the circumstances

Alex Watts :

If they do not follow procedure then it must follow that any confession is not reliable

Customer:

He never informed me she in fact had already been detained at that time

Alex Watts :

Yes

Alex Watts :

Its all about the policy and procedure

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else?

Customer:

The reason my daughter admitted she was guilty although she was not is because she was informed by the teacher after prolonged questioning that if she did not "confess " she would be excluded.

Alex Watts :

Yes of course.

Customer:

Against her better judgement she decided to "confess to avoid exclusion but immediateley she did she was then excluded anyway

Alex Watts :

Yes

Alex Watts :

But they must act in accordance with the policy - its all about that

Customer:

I feel that three senior figures of authority took advantage of a 12 year olds fear of exclusion in order to achieve their aims

Alex Watts :

Yes it sounds like they did.

Alex Watts :

That is why you need to take the steps I have outlined.

Customer:

yes I will follow the steps you have outlined

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else?

Customer:

no thank you

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.


Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.


Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you