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Parents kept in dark over school knife drama

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 03, 2014

  • Annabel Stoddart - new head of Abbot Beyne school

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A MAJOR Burton school has kept parents in the dark over a pupil smuggling in a knife the day after a teacher was stabbed to death in Leeds, the Mail can reveal.

Abbot Beyne School, in Winshill, has suspended the girl for bringing in the weapon on Tuesday – the day after 61-year-old teacher Ann Maguire was attacked in Corpus Christi Catholic College.

The Mail approached Abbot Beyne yesterday after a concerned relative of a pupil lifted the lid on the drama.

The school’s head teacher Annabel Stoddart defended the decision not to tell parents, which she said was made after taking advice from a PCSO.

She said: “Whenever there is an incident in school, a judgement is made on the appropriate time to inform parents.

“This is usually when we are in full command of the facts and when any investigations by the police have been completed.”

Mrs Stoddart would not reveal details of the incident.

But she said the girl would attend a re-admission interview with her parents, the deputy head teacher and police on Tuesday next week.

She said: “The safety of all students in and around our school is our paramount concern and we take an incident concerning safety very seriously.

“With the incident in question we took immediate action by isolating the student and investigating the incident thoroughly.

“Following such an incident we always remind students of their responsibilities and conduct in school in order to keep our school and community safe.”

The decision not to tell parents has drawn fire.

A relative of an Abbot Beyne pupil, who told the Mail about the furore, asked to remain anonymous.

But he said described the decision as ‘totally wrong’.

He said: “As soon they knew they have to tell the parents about what has happened, especially after what happened earlier in the week.

“They should have a policy of informing people straight away so they know what is happening.

“Anybody who brings a knife to school causes a danger not only to others but also to themselves.”

A spokesman from Staffordshire Police said the force had launched an investigation.

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