Child Q: Hackney school apologises after black girl, 15, strip-searched

25 March 2022, 21:28

The east London school has apologised for the incident.
The east London school has apologised for the incident (stock photo). Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The governing body of a Hackney school has apologised after a 15-year-old black girl - known as Child Q - was strip-searched in the middle of an exam.

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Child Q was pulled out of an exam by police and put through the invasive strip-search while on her period, a safeguarding report said. Her parents were not informed and no drugs were found.

The report found the search was unjustified and racism was "likely" to have been a factor in the search.

However, the governing board said the school "was not aware that a strip-search was taking place".

They said in a statement: "The incident involving Child Q is harrowing, and we understand and share the sadness and anger that is being felt by the community.

"While the school was not aware that a strip-search was taking place, we wholly accept that the child should not have been left in the situation that she was.

"For this, we have offered a full and formal apology to Child Q and her family, and continue to work with them to provide what support we can."

Scotland Yard previously apologised and said the incident, which took place at the end of 2020, "should never have happened".

Two police officers involved in the strip-search of the girl have since been removed from frontline duties, the Met confirmed.

Read more: Revealed: Most children strip-searched by Met come from ethnic backgrounds

Read more: Two officers involved in Child Q strip search removed from frontline duties

It comes as the school's head teacher has faced calls to resign following the incident.

Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville said he lacked "confidence in the current leadership of the school".

He added: "We ask that the Headteacher should stand down and allow that school & its community the new start it needs to heal from this traumatic experience and by doing so also fully recognise the traumatic impact on Child Q and her family."

LBC revealed on Friday that most strip-searches carried out by the Met were on those from ethnically diverse backgrounds.

Of the 5,279 children searched in the past three years, three quarters were from ethnically diverse backgrounds, with 16 of them being aged between 10 and 12 years old.

The data only covered children who were strip-searched after an arrest, including 2,000 for drug offences, meaning the real number of youths strip-searched in London is likely to be even higher.