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Monday, 24 November 2014

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South Cumbria knife pupil back in school after appeal

A FURNESS Academy first year pupil excluded for possession of a knife has been allowed to return to lessons after his school ban was overturned on appeal.

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safety concerns Furness Academy JON GRANGER REF: 50053469B012

Union reps have spoken to concerned staff who want reassurances that safeguards have been put in place to protect them and pupils.

School governors said they held an appeal procedure in line with authority guidelines and decided to lift the permanent exclusion order on the male Year Seven pupil, who will be aged 11 or 12.

Alan Rutter, secretary of Cumbria Division of the National Union of Teachers, said it couldn’t be as simple as just letting the boy return and he hoped stringent measures were in place to protect both staff and pupils.

He added that in this particular case it was mainly teachers who were concerned about child safety.

Chairman of the board of governors at the academy, Ted Creighton, said: “Students who find themselves in the position of being permanently excluded have a right to appeal.

“The appeal, which was held on Friday May 16, was a properly convened meeting of the governing body and was conducted according to local authority guidelines. The views of all parties were heard and considered.

“The governing body decided not to uphold the permanent exclusion order.”

In April teacher Ann Maguire was stabbed to death while taking a Year 11 Spanish lesson at Corpus Christi Catholic College, Leeds.

A 15-year-old boy has been charged with Mrs Maguire’s murder.

Mr Rutter said: “Schools have a duty of care to staff and pupils and they have to exercise that duty of care.

“A proper risk assessment should have been carried out to make sure an incident like this is not repeated. I know staff at the school have been fairly upset about what has happened.

“It is a general view that we expect schools to behave responsibly and if a child poses any risk to staff measures are put in place.

“I can’t believe it is as simple as deciding to let a child back in.

“I know of cases of teachers, not in Cumbria, where teachers who feel at risk have refused to teach a child. I think one of the issues in this case was that teachers had concerns about the safety of other children.

“Such an incident like this is very current after events in Yorkshire.”

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