Published: 06:00, 31 May 2021
| Updated: 10:35, 01 June 2021
A schoolgirl wasn't allowed to use the toilet despite starting her period and was secluded and put on report when she left the classroom in desperation.
The shocking incident has led the mother of the Year 10 pupil to brand Valley Park School's toilet policy 'absolutely ridiculous'.
The 15-year-old, who we have chosen not to name, says she was told to 'sit back down'.
The pupil was put into seclusion for the rest of the day and is now on report for two weeks.
Her mother said the incident has left her outraged, adding: "When my daughter first told me what happened I thought 'there's no way you’d get put into seclusion for just asking to go to the toilet' but I got the same story from my daughter as I did the teacher.
"She didn’t want to go to school at all the next day.
"I’ve never been called about her behaviour before and she has never been in trouble so I think it's absolutely ridiculous."
The girl's mother says when she rang the school in Huntsman Lane, Maidstone, a member of staff stuck by the strict policy and explained that each teacher can make an individual judgement.
The mother added: "I spoke to the head of year and said 'from one woman to another, surely you understand why she left the classroom?', she even told the teacher the reason for the problem.
"The member of staff just said to me as a teacher, if she needed to go to the toilet, she wouldn't be able to leave the classroom unattended.
"There’s no way I believe a teacher would have stood there for the whole hour lesson when they needed to go in the same situation. They would have called a superior or a colleague to cover them."
Headteacher Margaret Hutchinson said: "We would never deny any student access to our bathroom facilities, but we do ask that students make every effort to do this during break and lunch time to minimise disruption to lessons.
"In this case, the student was asked to wait because students had only just had a break but, unfortunately, she left the classroom without permission. It was this behaviour that resulted in the internal seclusion.
"We make every effort to be understanding when students need to use the facilities for specific reasons, however, it is our policy that the class teacher will make a judgement based on the individual circumstances.
“We have spoken with this student and her mother regarding the particular incident and have explained our rationale for the seclusion – this was because of her disrespect to a member of staff upon leaving the classroom, without permission.”