A SOUTH Lakeland school appointed a full-time designated safeguarding lead in the wake of the tragic suicides of two teenagers, it has been announced.

Fionnuala Ryan and Pierre DaCosta Noble died within a month of each other - in November and December 2019.

An inquest into the death of Fionnuala heard the 14-year-old had been affected by Pierre’s suicide, going to see the school nurse in a tearful state after it happened.

Mum Margaret Taylor told the hearing that she believed Pierre had confided in her daughter about bullying he had been subjected to.

The inquest saw questions asked of Windermere School about its response after staff became aware that Fionnuala had made a ligature at the beginning of the week in which she died.

The coroner's court heard this act could have been a ‘cry for help’.

In a statement after the inquest, a spokesman for the school described Fionnuala as ‘one of our shining stars’. She had won a scholarship to study at the school, where she ‘flourished’.

“She was popular with her peers and demonstrated a care and regard for others often lacking in one so young," said the spokesman.

"The entire school community continue to mourn her loss.”

He said the school added to its safeguarding provision ‘immediately’ after the two tragedies.

A full-time safeguarding lead - who has no other responsibilities - was appointed, while the school nurse now devotes half of her time entirely to safeguarding. This is in addition to pre-existing safeguarding procedures.

The spokesman said: “As part of a root-and-branch review of safeguarding policies, the school has purchased new software, called 'My Concern', so anyone can raise and log a concern which will immediately be shared with the safeguarding team and relevant pastoral staff.

“We have 21 staff undergoing advanced safeguarding training, which will be completed next month, and we are restructuring the provision of pastoral care in the boarding houses so we have more cover in the evenings and weekends.

“The safeguarding and wellbeing of the children in our care is at the heart of everything we do, and we continue to offer all the help we can to anyone who has been affected by these heart-breaking events.”

Fionnuala’s mum told the inquest, which began at Cockermouth Coroner's Court on Monday and concluded on Wednesday, that her daughter had been her ‘treasure’ and she would have ‘moved heaven and earth’ for her.

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