James Cambell Primary School pupils in protest over teacher suspension

The protest yesterday afternoon outside James Cambell Primary School, Dagenham (pic: Paul Bennett)

The protest yesterday afternoon outside James Cambell Primary School, Dagenham (pic: Paul Bennett) - Credit: Archant

Pupils were allegedly threatened with the cancellation of a summer ball after they staged a protest over the suspension of a popular teacher.

Year 6 teacher Mrs Nwichi was suspended from school on Monday. Parents haven’t been told why – but now pupils are calling for her to be reinstated.

The headteacher at James Cambell Primary School in Langley Crescent, Dagenham, denies making any threat.

Shelly Glossop, 29, of Hedgemans Road, Dagenham, told the Post: “My daughter has been distraught because the teacher is amazing.

“She always puts the children first – they’re all so upset she’s been suspended.

“[On Wednesday] morning the children wouldn’t go into school because they were so upset the teacher wasn’t going to be there. They’re making a stand for what they believe in.

“The headteacher has told the kids if they carry on like this she’ll cancel their summer ball.”

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More than 40 pupils and parents gathered outside the school gates yesterday (Thurs) to object to Mrs Nwichi’s suspension.

The teacher is alleged to have returned to the school grounds on Tuesday morning and afternoon to drop off and collect her son, who attends the school, before being asked to leave.

“We have to listen to the kids,” added Shelley. “They’re trying to tell us something. It’s quite moving.”

Shelley’s daughter Billie, 11, said: “I’ve been in Mrs Nwichi’s class since September and she’s the best. She does really fun activities but we still learn at the same time.

“Everyone in my class was crying on Tuesday when she didn’t come in. Her son said she’d been suspended.

“Everyone wondered why she didn’t say goodbye. I want her to come back. She’s the best teacher I’ve ever had.

“We’ve all been chanting her name and some people are chanting ‘we want her back’. I’m going to keep it up until she comes back.”

Sian Nicholson, 29, of Broad Street, Dagenham, has a son in Mrs Nwichi’s class.

“I’ve been having trouble getting my son to go to school,” she said. “That teacher is amazing.

“In Benjamin’s last school in Glasgow they labelled him as needing support but Mrs Nwichi has been amazing and transformed him. He was shy – now he’s outgoing and the most popular boy. She made him believe in himself and now he wants to be a solicitor.

“The next three weeks without Mrs Nwichi are going to be very daunting for him,

“They wanted to say goodbye. These children all had a very strong bond with this teacher.

“All the parents are still very angry, I don’t know what’s going to happen.

“She’s found the method of teaching that kids respond to. I had to drag my son to school today – he didn’t want to go.”

A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman said: “We can confirm a teacher has been suspended. There is an investigation into the matter.”

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