A mum is furious after her teenage daughter, who had three friends that took their own life, was told to write a suicide note as part of an English lesson at a Kidbrooke school.

The girl had told the teacher at Thomas Tallis School that she was uncomfortable doing the assignment as part of studies.

The teenager's mum, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “They were doing Macbeth in English. The assignment they were being given was writing a suicide letter.

“My daughter has had personal experience with people her age committing suicide."

The mum added: "On what universe was it ever, under any situation, a good idea to ask a group of teenagers to write suicide notes?

“At least two classes have done this assignment. My daughter is very outspoken but there are other kids not as vocal who might be suffering from depressions.

“I support them addressing suicide but it should be in a supportive environment.”

The mum said her daughter was very distressed by the entire situation.

MORE: A mental health charity is alarmed after students were told to write suicide letters in a lesson

Carolyn Roberts, headteacher at Thomas Tallis School, said: “A parent contacted us with concerns about a written exercise given to a class during studies of a play by Shakespeare.

"The exercise was given to a class who had been studying Macbeth as part of a year 8 English lesson.

“The exercise was to write a suicide letter from Lady Macbeth to Macbeth explaining her decision to kill herself.

"The exercise is a well-known method for getting students to understand this dramatic twist in the play. 

"The teacher who set the exercise is very experienced. Indeed, the exercise has been praised at a recent Ofsted inspection for the progress made by pupils studying the play.

“We appreciate that the exercise was upsetting to the family and have discussed the subject matter and approach with teaching staff. I met with the parent last week and apologised wholeheartedly on behalf of the school and reassured them about the actions that have been taken.

"The parent accepted the apology in a meeting that was friendly and cordial.

“We care deeply about the emotional wellbeing of our students and of course wish no distress to be caused to any of our students - all we can do is hold discussions and debates on topics such as these in a supportive and sensitive way.

"Had we been aware of any students who would have found the exercise upsetting then we would of course have taken a different approach. We have listened to the concerns raised by this debate and will not run the exercise again.

“I apologise again, for any distress that this may have caused to the family.”