THE headteacher of a Stourbridge primary school is said to be devastated after governors found she broke child safety laws during a car trip.

Kerry Taylor - headteacher at Amblecote Primary School - crammed five people, including herself, into a four-seat car on the way to an extra-curricular event – meaning two children had to share a seatbelt, which is against the law.

The parent of one of the children made a complaint which was upheld by the school’s governors, who admitted the child was ‘transported unsafely’.

The Stourbridge News has not been able to speak with Mrs Taylor, who has been ‘unable to carry out her duties’ at Amblecote Primary School since March.

However, Mrs Taylor's husband has since revealed that his wife was 'devastated' to realise what had happened and apologised immediately.

"It wasn’t a deliberate act it was human error which occurred under stressful circumstances," he said.

Solicitors for Mrs Taylor have also written to the Stourbridge News saying that the headteacher did not knowingly breach safety belt laws or mislead the child’s mother.

The letter says that she had not checked and did not know that there were only two seat belts.

The teacher also strongly denies acting aggressively and says it was the parent who was angry.

The parent, who did not wish to be named, agreed for her child to attend a ‘Gifted and Talented’ event in March and to be ‘escorted there and back in a fully insured staff member’s car’.

However, on the child’s arrival home they told their mother they had shared a seatbelt with another pupil in Mrs Taylor’s ‘very small car’.

The unhappy parent stormed into school to speak to the head, who she said ‘aggressively’ denied the child’s version of events, causing the pupil to cry.

After checking the number of seatbelts herself and finding only four, the parent says she confronted the head, saying: “I asked her if she was aware of how serious that situation could have been if there had been an accident.”

She added: “I have three children at Amblecote Primary and have never had reason to be concerned about their safety and wellbeing until now.

“My family and I are distraught that [the child] was so carelessly put into such a dangerous situation and I am shocked and appalled at how the situation was handled by her when I came to address it."

The parent made an official complaint soon after the event and, less than a week later, parents were sent a letter saying ‘at the present time Mrs Taylor is unable to carry out her duties’, with an acting head stepping in.

When the Stourbridge News approached the Local Education Authority, June Lewis, chair of governors at Amblecote Primary School, said: “The school are dealing with matters in accordance with their internal procedures.”

The News has seen a copy of the governors’ response to the parent, which upheld her complaint, saying the risk assessment procedure was ‘not properly managed by the headteacher’.

It added: “The headteacher was required to ensure that her vehicle was fit for purpose before signing off the risk assessment and undertaking the journey.

“I am satisfied that the evidence proves that your child was transported unsafely.”

The governors’ response also upheld the parent’s complaint over the head’s reaction, saying: “As the headteacher has not been in school I have been unable to obtain her version of these events.

“Nonetheless on the basis of the evidence provided by you and the school’s staff, I am satisfied that the evidence demonstrates that your recollection of these events is correct.

“I would therefore like to apologise on behalf of the school for the manner in which you and your child were treated.”