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Teacher called my son a “numpty”

Ismaeel Star, nine-years-old, with the school behaviour chart from Mount Pellon School, Halifax

Ismaeel Star, nine-years-old, with the school behaviour chart from Mount Pellon School, Halifax

A father is furious after a primary school maths teacher labelled his son a “numpty.”

Mr Mahmood’s nine-year-old son Ismaeel Star, a pupil at Mount Pellon Primary School, Halifax, was referred to as a ‘numpty’ on a pupil behaviour chart by maths teacher Mr Corfield.

Ismaeel showed his father the behaviour chart and asked what the word meant.

An angry Mr Mahmood told Ismaeel to ask his teacher what was meant by the word.

Mr Corfield reportedly told the child he meant it in a good way as an affectionate term.

But Mr Mahmood said: “If it’s a good thing then why can’t children say it or why isn’t it used more often? ‘Numpty’ means not all there and Ismaeel was being misled by his teacher to think it was a good word.”

Mr Mahmood felt frustrated further after he contacted headteacher Mr Richards who replied in writing: “I have looked into the meaning of the word a little and the BBC website confirms that: “Numpty. Gentle word. Very gentle word.””

He said: “I am aware this is a word that is in quite common usage and tends to be a friendly expression that is used in an empathetic, supportive and non-judgemental way.”

The Oxford English Dictionary definition of ‘numpty’ is: “a stupid or ineffectual person.”

Mr Mahmood said: “I feel the school is trying to pull the wool over my eyes. Why is an educated person quoting the BBC website for a definition of a word? An apology to me and my son would have sorted the matter.”

Ismaeel who enjoys maths and finds the subject easy said he felt shocked and sad after learning the definition of the word.

The head of the school said it would not comment on the matter until Mr Mahmood put his comments in writing to the school.

 

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