School records 42 cases of pupils accessing roof

Bure Park Specialist Academy main entrance sign and gates
Bure Park Specialist Academy in Great Yarmouth also recorded 88 assaults against staff by pupils [Andrew Turner/BBC]

A specialist school has recorded 42 incidents of pupils climbing on to its roofs.

Bure Park Specialist Academy in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, educates boys aged 6 to 16 with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs.

Responding to a Freedom of Information request, the Broad Horizons Education Trust, which runs the academy, said it had also recorded 88 incidents of staff being assaulted, none of which required hospital treatment.

The trust said it had to deal "with some very challenging behaviour" and that none of the pupils that accessed the roofs were hurt.

Recruitment banner hanging from fence at Bure Park Specialist Academy
Bure Park Specialist Academy has had 37 staff leave since it opened in 2021 [Andrew Turner/BBC]

People living near the school told the BBC that they had seen children climbing on the roofs.

A BBC reporter also witnessed a child hanging from the guttering by his hands.

The school opened in September 2021 in the former Alderman Swindell Primary School on Beresford Road, costing £12m.

It has capacity for 88 students, including day pupils and weekday boarders.

Of the 104 staff members employed since the school opened, 37 have left and there were currently eight vacancies.

A trust spokesperson said: "The children who attend Bure Park have had to overcome significant challenges during their lives and all the staff at the academy work hard to ensure that the children are supported and developed so that they can be afforded the same opportunities as their peers in a mainstream school.

"Due to the social, emotional and mental health difficulties that the children have, staff have to deal with some very challenging behaviour and they receive specialist training to ensure that this can be done safely."

Scott Lyons, secretary of the Norfolk branch of the National Education Union, said the school's challenge with staff retention was "pretty average".

He also praised the school for having "some fantastic staff and leadership".

"Perhaps staff have got the courage to report incidents, as I know some schools that are less encouraging," he added.

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