London school closes amid protests as pupil 'barred from wearing Palestine flag', as head slams 'malicious' parents

21 December 2023, 14:18

Protests have shut down Barclay Primary School
Protests have shut down Barclay Primary School. Picture: Twitter/Google Street View

By Kit Heren

A London school has had to close after protests erupted outside following a claim that an eight-year-old pupil was barred from wearing a pro-Palestine badge sewn into his school uniform.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Images posted to social media showed large crowds outside Barclay Primary School in Leyton, east London, after the claim that the boy was "bullied for being Palestinian".

A TikToker had claimed that the pupil had been " harassed and mentally traumatised by his teachers" for his heritage.

School bosses said there was "no evidence to support any allegations of bullying or misconduct".

Protesters gathered outside the school on Thursday to shout: "Barclay, shame on you" and "education is under attack".

Read more: Teachers strike amid safety fears as 'Muslim children and parents angry over nude painting at French school'

Read more: Police 'give words of advice' to boy who sent death threats to autistic student who lightly scuffed Quran at school

The school had been scheduled to stay open until the end of Friday, but closed early amid "escalating threats against staff and the school". The school said that the decision had been made with the safety of pupils and staff in mind.

The school's executive headteacher Aaron Wright said in a letter to parents on Monday: "Over the course of the weekend, a video was published on TikTok which has made and amplified a series of false and malicious allegations against Barclay Primary School and a Lion Academy Trust board member."

The letter, seen by Sky News, added: "This has been further shared on social media and misdirected and unhelpful commentary about the school and our staff are being circulated.

"Sadly, it seems that there is a tiny minority of carers/parents who have elected to work against the school have been directly responsible for the malicious and false content being published online."

The allegation of bullying was "formally referred by the school to the relevant external safeguarding authorities who have reviewed the allegation and found it to be false".

A previous letter, said to be addressed to parents on November 17, asked them to be "role models", warning that "extremist or divisive comments" could lead to referrals to Prevent, the government's early-stage anti-terror intervention programme.

The Lion Academy Trust, which manages Barclay, said that pupils were "being directly impacted by the actions of a misdirected and misinformed few, seeking to disrupt a primary school from exercising its proper function to educate children."

The trust added: "We will never tolerate bullying or intimidation from any source - and have the full support of the Department for Education, Ofsted and the police in this matter.

"We will take any and all necessary steps to protect our pupils, staff and values."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

A picture of Alexei Navalny next to flowers in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin

Body of Russian opposition leader Navalny handed over to his mother, aide says

Breaking
Alexei Navalny attending an anti-Putin rally St. Petersburg, Russia, February 2012

Alexei Navalny's body handed to mother after 'three-hour ultimatum' over late Russian opposition figure's burial

French President Emmanuel Macron at the agriculture fair

Macron booed by French farmers as he visits Paris agricultural fair

Volodymyr Zelensky

Western leaders arrive in Kyiv as Ukraine marks invasion anniversary

Lee Anderson has been suspended for his comments about Sadiq Khan

Lee Anderson suspended from Conservative Party after claiming 'Islamists have control of Sadiq Khan'

Wet weather is expected on Sunday and Monday

Fears of travel chaos on Sunday and Monday amid heavy rain, as yellow weather warning issued

Jesse Baird and Luke Davies have not been seen since Monday

Police in desperate riverbed hunt for missing TV presenter and boyfriend, as cop ex-lover accused of murder

Yulia Navalnaya

Navalny widow accuses Putin of mocking Christianity for refusing to return body

Charles has shared a message of support for Ukraine

King Charles hails 'heroism' of Ukrainians as world leaders mark second anniversary of Russian invasion in Kyiv

Junior doctors have gone on strike again

Junior doctors walk out for five-day strike amid long-standing pay row, in latest round of NHS industrial action

Sarah Oliver was killed in the collision

Woman killed by driver who sped through red light while on her phone, as she is jailed for nine years

Spain Building Fire

10th body found in charred remnants of Valencia apartment building

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Brazilian president accuses Israel of committing genocide in Gaza

Hamilton Palace is said to be abandoned

Crumbling Sussex mansion abandoned by millionaire developer 'is UK's biggest slum' and is 'magnet for drug abuse'

Grant Shapps has vowed that Britain will back Ukraine 'to the end'

'We will be there to the end': Shapps vows UK will back Ukraine until war is over, as Britain gives £245m military aid

Exclusive
LBC spoke to a mother and daughter from the war-torn city of Mariupol

Ukrainian refugees accuse Home Office of becoming ‘tired of Ukraine’ after altering resettlement schemes