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Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

Child Q: Strip-search schoolgirl head teacher steps down

Child Q: Strip-search schoolgirl head teacher steps down

The head teacher of an east London school where a black pupil was strip-searched has stood down due to health issues.

A safeguarding report found the search of the 15-year-old girl, known as Child Q, was unjustified and racism was "likely" to have been a factor.

Child Q is suing the Met Police and the school in Hackney over the incident.

In a letter to parents, the school said "an outstanding head teacher" is already in place to take over the role.

During the incident, the girl was taken out of an exam to the school's medical room and strip-searched by two female Met Police officers who were looking for cannabis, while teachers remained outside.

No other adult was present, her parents were not contacted, and no drugs were found.

The girl's intimate body parts were exposed and she was made to take off her sanitary towel, according to the review.

The Met has admitted the actions of the two officers were "regrettable" and it "should never have happened".

The school's governing body has claimed teachers were "not aware that a strip search was taking place".

In March, the school released an apology to Child Q and her family.

Since the incident, the school has changed the leadership of its governing board. However, research by the BBC shows the chair of governors was still in place six months after the search occurred.

The make-up of the school board has also changed.

The Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) said a report on the incident was being "finalised".

The incident sparked days of protest across Hackney, near the site of Child Q's school.

Labour MP Florence Eshalomi: "When my daughter is 15, I hope this issue still isn't happening but I'm worried it will"


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