A ROW has broken out between a headmistress and parents after pictures were shared online showing a party on a school site.

Parents with children who attend Gloverspiece Minifarm in Ladywood, near Droitwich, were upset after spotting the pictures showing partygoers drinking alcohol and smoking.

However, Gloverspiece’s headteacher Lynne Duffy hit back, saying the school site is hired out as a venue in the holidays, and threatening parents with legal action for what she called ‘libellous’ claims.

Parents were alarmed after the pictures emerged on social media of the party, which was for the birthday of Mrs Duffy’s son George, who sits on Droitwich Town Council and Wychavon District Council.

The pictures had been tagged with the location of Gloverspiece minifarm, an independent special school catering for 4 to 12 year-olds with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties along with learning difficulties.

However, Mrs Duffy said parents did not need to worry.

She said: “Outside of term time, when the school is not being used, it is a community venue that is available for hire. It can be used however the clients see fit.

"On this occasion, it was my son George who hired the venue for his birthday in August. It was just the once.

"I am in the process of taking legal action against some of the parents who have complained as I believe their claims are libellous and harmful to the school’s reputation. The building is not a school when it is outside of term time, it is a venue.”

However, a parent of a child currently at the school said: “I am concerned for the children’s safety, alcohol or tobacco could have been left behind which could be found by the children. Sensitive information about the children could have been viewed by people we don’t know.

“This is not a pub or club and I highly doubt it would be acceptable in other schools.”

The school is located on a farm which is also home to an animal sanctuary, also run by Mrs Duffy.

George Duffy, 23, defended the decision to hold the party at the school site.

He said: “I do not regret the party, it was a good way to celebrate my birthday.

"I was given access to the venue due to voluntary work I had done at the animal sanctuary over the summer.

"I regret not being more careful in terms of checking the location. The pictures were uploaded by my friend, Alice Smith, and she put the location as Gloverspiece minifarm. I am only aware of one or two parents making complaints.”

He added: “It is not ideal. I am concerned about the damage to the reputation of the school and also to me as a councillor.”