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Catholic Headteacher Pretended To Phone God To Punish Children

13/03/2015 14:02 | Updated 20 May 2015

Catholic headteacher pretended to phone God to punish children

A headteacher at a Catholic primary school has been accused of 'humiliating' pupils by pretending to phone God to say they've been naughty.

Angry parents say Sheila Jones, head at St Joseph's Roman Catholic primary in Devizes, Wiltshire, also made their children lie face down on the floor to punish them.

They have now written to the governors and education watchdog Ofsted to call for her resignation.

Tammy Brimble's son Cyrus, 11, was one of those who received the 'I'm phoning God about you' punishment in the prayer room at the school.

She told her local paper: "I didn't find out about until we got home.

"Cyrus was very quiet and I could tell something was bothering him.

"When he told me what had happened to him and three other boys, I was upset but I wanted to find out why she did it.

"I don't think what she did was appropriate at all.

"We are not Roman Catholics but it was still distressing for my child for her to call on God like that."

She wrote of a letter of complaint to the school governors and Ofsted, saying: "Cyrus has been subjected to the humiliation of being punished by Sheila on more than one occasion by having to lie face down on the floor.

"We have witnesses for this too, and the evidence of the harm this has caused him."

Another mother, Alexandra Jones, has also complained to Ofsted.

She said: "All the children were whispering about something and then it came out that Sheila had made some of them lie face down in the prayer room while she pretended to ring God on her mobile phone." Ofsted has asked Wiltshire Council's safeguarding panel to investigate the parents' complaints.

In a letter to another parent, Ofsted replied "The information provided raised concerns about the safety of children.

"Ofsted has shared your concerns with the local authority so they can progress these safeguarding concerns as they consider appropriate."

Colette Culligan, chairman of the governors, said: "We are aware of an allegation against one of the teaching staff.

"In order to follow due process, all enquiries regarding this issue need to be directed to Wiltshire Council.

"This is to ensure that any investigation currently being conducted is not unduly influenced."

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: "Once we have received the letter from Ofsted we will look into any concerns raised."

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