‘Kind’ Barking school gives epileptic pupil seizure

Epileptic pupil Rosie Harrison, 12, with her mum Kate Harrison.

Epileptic pupil Rosie Harrison, 12, with her mum Kate Harrison. - Credit: Archant

The mum of an epileptic 12-year-old has criticised the “kindest school in the country” for giving her daughter the nickname “dozy Rosie” – and a flash photography-induced fit.

Kate Harrison said Eastbury Comprehensive School, which won an award for kindness in February, subjected daughter Rosie to flash photography in November despite knowing her condition.

“She was flashed about 30 times,” Kate said. “She’d taken her hair down because she wasn’t feeling very well – that’s a warning sign in her care plan. She carries the risk of death – if that seizure had continued and got worse she would have fallen down, banged her head and she could’ve died.”

And after having the fit, Rosie was sent unaccompanied to find help and left suffering for three hours before the Barking school eventually called her mum.

This was the second time Rosie had been left alone after a fit, after the same thing happened in October.

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And despite the seizure, the Hulse Avenue school used flash photography near Rosie twice more – once in the school canteen and again in the library.

But Kate said problems predate this, when she claims school teacher Natasha Lillywhite gave her the nickname “dozy Rosie”.

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And when Kate complained that her daughter’s specially-designed educational care plan wasn’t being followed, the school gave Rosie three 11-year-old supervisors.

And it’s not just Rosie who’s suffered – her sister Stephanie, 13, was barred from a ski trip to Ypres after a dispute over a hurt ankle.

After complaining to the school, Kate was told Stephanie would not be able to attend the ski trip because she had “broken trust” and would now have to earn it back.

“I’ve followed every complaint process at each stage I’ve communicated with them,” Kate said. “Every single thing is very serious – but I’ve just been brushed away.

“They need to be held accountable for what they’ve done.”

A council spokesman said the school has apologised.

“The school has dealt with many of Ms Harrison’s complaints, which are now concluded,” he said. “It is happy to continue with the process with those that remain unresolved. It has apologised for any mistakes it has made.”

In a letter seen by the Post, the council’s education lawyer Lucinda Bell maintains the school has a right to be proud of its kindness award.

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