A NEW headteacher is reassuring parents that pupils can get water after some kept their children off school.

Rachelle Otulakowski, who took the reins at Longhill High School in Woodingdean this week, spoke to The Argus to allay fears children could not access water after some said that children could not access a drink during lessons.

She has asked parents to ensure that your child has a refillable water bottle with them.

Reiterating what she has stated in a letter to parents, she said: "They have access to our water fountains in between lessons and at break and lunchtimes. We are also encouraging pupils to remove their blazers when they want to, and to ask their teacher/s to attend the medical room during lessons if they feel unwell."

It is hoped a full water bottle will get children through a lesson and they are asked not to get up and walk out but if they feel unwell or need water they can speak to the teacher and "the teacher sends them to the medical room where the fountain and bottles are".

Parents raised concerns that their children were unable to access drinking water during lessons in one of the hottest weeks of the year at a school in the city.  

Charlotte Qualter, mum of three children at  the school said she had no choice but to keep her children at home today after they told her they had been denied access to drinking water during lessons yesterday.

“It is illegal to not let children access water. It’s a basic human right,” the 46-year-old told The Argus.

The Argus: Charlotte Qualter is mum to Shay and twin daughters who go to Longhill SchoolCharlotte Qualter is mum to Shay and twin daughters who go to Longhill School (Image: Andrew Gardner/The Argus)

She said the drinking water dispensers were being turned off during lessons to deter pupils who had been having water fights.

Charlotte lives in Whitehawk with twin daughters in Year 8, who did not wish to be named, and her son, Shay Qualter, 13, who is in Year 9 at Longhill.

The Argus: Shay Qualter goes to Longhill SchoolShay Qualter goes to Longhill School (Image: Andrew Gardner/The Argus)

The Argus spoke to two other mothers, who did not wish to be named, who had similar experiences.

One mother, whose 12-year-old daughter goes to Longhill, said the situation is “diabolical”.

She said she kept her child off school today after she came home dehydrated yesterday.

The Argus: Charlotte said other parents had similar experiencesCharlotte said other parents had similar experiences (Image: Andrew Gardner/The Argus)

Another mother told The Argus her daughter in Year 7 has experienced the same problem.

“I asked the school for reasons but they are not replying,” she said.

Other parents shared their worries in a Facebook group for Longhill parents.

In posts seen by The Argus, at least three other parents had similar experiences to Charlotte and two mothers The Argus spoke to today.

The Argus: Charlotte has three childrenCharlotte has three children (Image: Andrew Gardner/The Argus)

Meanwhile, other parents said the water fountains were not working which meant pupils could not access drinking water during the day.

“Either way, children should be able to access drinking water whenever they need it,” Charlotte said.