Headteacher accused of calling student ‘Mr Autistic’ during telling-off

A general view of Meadowbrook College
The alleged incident happened at Meadowbrook College (Picture: Google Maps)

A headteacher has been accused of calling a student ‘Mr Autistic’ when he got into trouble for using a vape.

Nicola Partridge is said to have used the term towards a student in Year 11 who has Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD.

His mother claimed the incident took place at Meadowbrook College in Marston, Oxfordshire, on January 17.

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, said: ‘I got a call from my son at school saying the headteacher had called him Mr Autistic.

‘He’d been vaping and handed it over but got a second vape out, and was told to hand that one over.

‘He was told to sit in the hall and called Mr Autistic.

‘He rang me and was fuming – she’s in a position of trust and she’s broken that trust.

‘He’s angry and upset, he’s had his disability used as an insult against him.

‘The relationship he had with her has gone now, and he doesn’t understand why someone would say this to him.

‘I’m really angry, I can’t put into words how angry I am – there was absolutely no need for it.’

A spokesperson for the Radcliffe Academy Trust, which oversees the school, said the matter will be addressed through its formal complaints procedure.

The parent added that her son was suspended between January 17 and 19 due to the vaping incident, and has since been instructed not to return until January 31.

Meadowbrook is an alternative provision school offering full and part-time education and temporary support to over 100 students aged 5-16 who are excluded from, or are finding it difficult to fully access, their mainstream schools, according to its website.

On her Twitter account, Ms Partridge described her job as ‘tough but fab’ and quoted the saying: ‘When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment not the flower’.

An audio clip that was shared by the parent is said to have been secretly recorded after the alleged incident.

The Year 11 student can be heard saying: ‘Did you or did you not call me Mr Autistic?’

A female voice can be heard saying ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I didn’t mean to do that’.

The student later says: ‘As one of your students, you should know my mental issues and needs, and for you to sit there and call me Mr Autistic is f***ing vile.’

Later on, the female voice says: ‘I can’t do anything about it now.’

The Year 11 student started at Meadowbrook in September.

His mum has said that despite a positive start at the school, the alleged incident has ‘broken’ trust between him and the school.

She said: ‘There’s been a bit of a change but he’s coped well and until this happened, he’s been really happy at the school.

‘However, this is a crucial part of his education and the trust has been broken.’

A spokesperson for the Radcliffe Academy Trust said: ‘We are aware of the matter and it will be addressed through our formal complaint procedure.’

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