Child Q: Head teacher stands down after black pupil strip-searched


he head teacher of an east London school where a 15-year-old black school girl was strip-searched has stood down due to health issues.

Making the announcement in a letter to parents at the start of the new term, the school said an “outstanding head teacher” had already been appointed.

The search of pupil, known as Child Q, was unjustified and racism was “likely” to have been a factor, a safeguarding report found.

Child Q was removed from an exam and made to take off her clothes while she was on her period.

The incident in December 2020 took place after a teacher wrongly accused the girl of possessing cannabis.

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

Child Q has launched civil proceedings against the Metropolitan Police and her school after the incident.

She is taking action to obtain “cast-iron commitments to ensure this never happens again to any other child”, her lawyer said.

The school’s governors have also apologised, insisting that while they were “not aware that a strip search was taking place, we wholly accept that the child should not have been left in the situation that she was”.

They added: “Changes were made immediately after the incident and continued to be made”.

This includes changes to the makeup and leadership of the governing board.

The two female Met police officers who strip-searched the girl have been removed from the frontline.

Marcus Barnett, Hackney’s Basic Unit commander, confirmed last month that the officers involved had been placed on desk duties.

The incident sparked protests across the borough, including outside Hackney Town Hall and Stoke Newington police station.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that reports of the strip search of Child Q were “deeply distressing and deeply concerning”.

The incident was only made public last month after the publication of a safeguarding report initiated by Hackney Council.

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