THE Headteacher of Melksham Oak Community School has denied allegations that it failed to prevent one of its pupils from what her parents call a ‘sustained and vicious campaign of bullying’.

Steve Clark said the school has done all it could to protect 13-year-old Chelsie Norris, from Melksham, from being verbally and emotionally abused at school and online through social media by another child in her year.

Chelsie’s mother, Mrs Angela Norris, said she and her husband Trevor had felt forced to remove their daughter from Melksham Oak only two days into the new school year because the bully also returned for the autumn term despite assurances to the contrary – and was even in one of Chelsie’s classes.

She claims the other pupil had bullied Chelsie from the end of Year 7 and all through Year 8, resulting in her daughter suffering stress, severe anxiety, depression, panic attacks and, eventually, self-harming.

Chelsie said: “Every time I went to school or for a walk, I was being called names and was even pinned up against a wall. Other pupils started doing it too.

“I stopped eating and suffered anxiety and panic attacks every time I saw them. Things got so bad, I stopped going to school for two months in May and June because they were there.”

As a result, Chelsie’s attendance record dropped from 93 per cent in Year 7 to 77.7 per cent in Year 8 and her school work suffered because of the impact the bullying was having on her life and her health.

Mrs Norris said the verbal and emotional abuse Chelsie has suffered, at school and through online social media, had become so bad her daughter had been referred to CAMHS, the child and adolescent mental health service, for counselling and support.

Mrs Norris, 43, and Trevor, 62, say they were given assurances the other pupil would not be returning to Melksham Oak in the autumn, so they sent Chelsie to school on Monday for the new term.

She will now go to school away from her home town. Her mother said: “I can’t risk her getting ill again. She had a terrible time.”

Mr Clark told the Wiltshire Times: “As with every case, our school has worked to address every incident raised, swiftly and effectively: each one was dealt with appropriately in accordance with our zero-tolerance stance on bullying. Our governing body has independently investigated this case and were satisfied with our support and response.

“It has now been alleged that further incidents, out of school and on social media, have taken place during the summer holiday. Without any of these alleged incidents having taken place in school, and as individual responsibility is unclear, we are not in a position to take further action.

“Our recent OFSTED report states “pupils report bullying is rare and they are confident that staff deal with any issues effectively.”