Mother left in tears after daughter with complex needs 'erased' from school photo

29 March 2024, 10:15 | Updated: 29 March 2024, 11:20

Mother Natalie Pinnell
Mother Natalie Pinnell. Picture: Facebook

By Kit Heren

A mother whose child with complex needs was 'erased' from a version of her school photograph said the incident brings her to tears.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Furious parents at Aboyne Primary School in Scotland complained after being sent a link from a photography company offering them the choice of alternative school photos.

Natalie Pinnell’s daughter Erin was included in one class photo and excluded from the other - the photography firm Tempest offered both versions of the photo for sale.

Tempest also took the same approach with two additional support needs pupils in another class.

Ms Pinnell told LBC's Matthew Wright: "It was a shocking event - I got two emails from my school class photos, it happens annually, and for my youngest there was one link to my class photo, for my eldest there were two links - in one of them she was included and in one of them she wasn’t.

Matthew Wright speaks to a mother whose complex needs daughter was 'erased' from a school photo

"At the time, I wanted to assume good intent and was trying to be curious, like ‘what are the differences, spot the difference, what’s going on this photo?’

"And I couldn’t find any other reason, so I went to the school, who were incredible, they went straight to the photography company to find out what had happened."

She said the company gave parents "the option of whether or not to erase these children from the photos."

Ms Pinnell added that the move "keeps shocking" her. "I found out about it on Monday and everyday I’m still hitting new levels of shock," she added.

"It just keeps coming in waves, I actually can’t believe they erased these children from their class photo."

Ms Pinnell said that the incident has meant having a difficult conversation with Erin's sister "to tell her what’s going on because it is being discussed at school".

She added that despite the upsetting incident, the support from the school and the local community "has been phenomenal".

Read more: Failure to ‘level up’ Britain would be ‘catastrophic’, Wes Streeting admits, as Starmer vows to resurrect Johnson policy

Read more: Hundreds of Border Force officers at Heathrow Airport to stage four-day strike

Parents at Aboyne Primary complained about the incident.
Parents at Aboyne Primary complained about the incident. Picture: Google Street View

The local council said the the decision was not taken by the school and the link to the photos was immediately removed.

Tempest Photography, one of the biggest school photography firms, said in a statement it was investigating the matter, adding that it had spoken to the photographer involved and the school.

The firm said: “We are currently investigating the situation with the school, and have no further comment.”

Ms Quinnell wrote in a Facebook post earlier: “This week, a photography company erased my child from a school class photo.

“Why? Was she not aesthetically pleasing enough?

“To say I am disgusted, devastated and absolutely heartbroken is am understatement.”

Aberdeenshire Council said in a statement: "We are aware that following Aboyne Primary School’s recent school class photographs, links to purchase the pictures included images with and without complex needs provision pupils.

“Whilst this was not a decision taken by the school, we absolutely appreciate the distress and hurt this has caused some parents and carers and we are sincerely sorry.

"The issue has been taken up with the photography company directly as this is totally unacceptable."

The council added: "Aboyne is an inclusive school and every single child should be included, engaged and involved in their learning and school experiences."

Liam Kerr, the Scottish Conservative MSP, said of the incident: “There are big questions for the company arranging and taking these photos. This is one of the bigger studios working with Scottish schools today, so it’s imperative to find whether this is an isolated incident and ensure it never happens again.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Denmark's historic stock exchange erupted into flames

Copenhagen's historic stock exchange goes up in flames as footage shows moment iconic spire collapses

Denmark Fire

Fire rages through historic Stock Exchange in Copenhagen

This guest told LBC he was against Rishi Sunak's smoking ban because 'everybody dies in the end' and the NHS should 'price in' the cost of dealing with sick Brits.

'The NHS is there to make you healthy' guest dismisses smoking ban as 'everybody dies in the end'

Musk suggested new users could be charged a small annual fee before posting

New X users face paying ‘small fee’ to combat ‘relentless onslaught of bots’, Elon Musk suggests

A gang involved in the sale of millions of pounds worth of cocaine have been jailed

Moment police raid uncovers £17.2 million worth of cocaine hidden in blocks of cheese

Dozens of influencers were sent samples of Meghan's new strawberry jam

Meghan Markle unveils first product from new lifestyle brand as dozens of influencers receive gift of strawberry jam

Creating a sexually explicit "deepfake" image is to be made an offence under new legislation

Creating sexually explicit ‘deepfake’ images to be treated in same way as 'bomb-making,' minister says

Australia Church Stabbing

Knife attack against bishop and priest being treated as terrorism, police say

Inside the health retreat in Australia

Suspected 'mushroom' drink poisoning at Australian health retreat as woman dies and two others are rushed to hospital

Greece Olympics Paris Flame Lighting

Paris Olympics flame to be lit at Greek cradle of ancient games

Holly has teased her TV return to Netflix

'It's happening' Holly Willoughby teases TV return after This Morning exit

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Lord Kim Darroch the former UK National Security Advisor for his assessment of the performance of "the current PM, the man who was PM and the man who wants to be PM"

Rishi Sunak has 'left the pitch free' for Lord Cameron to be Foreign Sec and 'toughen the line on Israel', says former diplomat

Iran's direct assault: Escalation in Israeli-Hamas conflict signals a broader regional shift

Iran's direct assault and escalation in Israeli-Hamas conflict signals a broader regional shift

Israel will aim to 'minimise civilian casualties'

Israel planning ‘painful’ strike on Iran despite Western calls for calm after unprecedented missile attack

Greater Manchester Police said it is aware of the footage

Shocking moment ‘child steals police car’ and reverses it along pavement while officer chases suspect on foot

Trump Hush Money

Trump to return to court after first day of trial ends with no jurors picked