The headmistress of a Roman Catholic Primary School in Devizes has been accused of making children lie face down on the floor while she pretends to ring God on her mobile phone to say they have been naughty.

Parents say they were outraged that head Sheila Jones humiliated their children and have written to Ofsted and the school governors of St Joseph's in Devizes.

Ofsted has asked Wiltshire Council's safeguarding team to look into a number of complaints made by parents.

Mum Tammy Brimble, whose son Cyrus, 11, was one of those who received the punishment in the prayer room at the school, said: "I don't think this was at all appropriate.

"We are not Roman Catholics but it was still distressing for my child for her to call on God like that.

"I didn't find out about it until we got home. Cyrus was very quiet and I could tell something was bothering him.

"When he told me what had happened to him and three other boys I was upset about the treatment but I wanted to find out why she did it.

"He didn't think he had done anything wrong so I tried to speak to Mrs Jones about it but she refused to talk to me."

She said she made a number of attempts to speak to the head but eventually wrote a letter of complaint and later complained to the governors and Ofsted.

In a letter to deputy chairman of the governors Simon Napper on February 23 she wrote: "Cyrus has been subjected to the humiliation of being punished by Sheila on more than one occasion by having to lie face down on the floor and we have witnesses for this too and the evidence of the harm this has caused him."

Another parent Alexandra Jones, who used to work as a midday supervisor, said: "All the children were whispering about something and then it came out that Sheila had made some of them lie face down in the prayer room while she pretended to ring God on her mobile phone."

She has also made an official complaint to Ofsted about the head.

In recent weeks there have been calls for the head to resign. The school, which was rated as needing improvements at its last Ofsted, is expecting inspectors to visit any day for a new assessment.

Ofsted, in a letter to another parent who raised concerns about problems at the school, said: “The information provided raised concerns about the safety of children.

“Ofsted has shared your concerns with the local authority so they can progress these safeguarding concerns as they consider appropriate.”

Ofsted said this week that it could not comment further.

Colette Culligan, chairman of the governors, said: “The governors of St Joseph’s Primary School are aware of an allegation against one of the teaching staff.

“In order to follow due process, all enquiries regarding this issue need to be directed to Wiltshire Council. This is to ensure that any investigation currently being conducted is not unduly influenced.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “Once we have received the letter from Ofsted we will look into any concerns raised.”