16-year-old Elisha Burkhill has today been sentenced to 7 years in a youth offending institution following an attack on Inclusion Officer Joy Simon at Winterton Community Academy last year.
Deputy Headteacher Rob Featherstone said: “Today has been a difficult one for Mrs Simon and all of us here at Winterton Community Academy.
“We’re a school with a very strong sense of community and our focus today has been on trying to make it as normal as possible for our pupils and staff.
“Mrs Simon is one of our Inclusion Officers and she is very well liked and respected by pupils, staff and the wider community. We have been in regular contact with her and she’s doing well.”
Since the incident, the school has worked with the local authority and an educational psychologist to provide ongoing emotional support for pupils and staff.
Mr Featherstone said: “The students are also doing well. Of course they miss Mrs Simon – as we all do. They ask after her regularly.
“There’s a lot of support in place and that comes from the local education authority and we are very grateful for that. The pupils are doing well. They have been able to move on and they know who they can turn to if they need any additional support.”
The school has also worked with an independent advisor to review its health and safety and safeguarding procedures, which has concluded that there was nothing that could have been done differently.
However, the school has implemented some changes, including reviewing its policy on locking doors and lone working.
Calls for metal detectors to be installed had been discussed but the measure was deemed to be inappropriate.
Mr Featherstone said: “Being able to have trust and a relationship with young people in the school is very important. Once you start using such measures to search students that trust begins to break down.
“This was an incredibly rare occurrence. None of the staff have been involved in anything like this before and hopefully we never will be again.”
He also thanked the community for their support and understanding following the incident.
Chf Supt Christine Wilson said: “The incident at Winterton Community Academy last year was a really traumatic event that effected a number of people’s lives.
“I am really proud of the way the community came together and that parents, pupils and the school supported each other in coming to terms with what was a really significant and very sad day.
“it’s really important to recognise the important work the school has done in supporting students moving forward and I’m really proud of the work police officers have done in creating a case for the court to be able to consider.
“Whilst we can never make it right, what we have done is, hopefully, helped that community to move on and all of the children who were undoubtedly affected by what happened.”
PLEASE NOTE – THE MEDIA ARE RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED NOT TO GO TO THE SCHOOL AND NOT TO APPROACH ANY STAFF OR PUPILS AT THE SCHOOL FOR COMMENT.
NO FURTHER COMMENT WILL BE MADE AND NO INTERVIEWS WILL BE GIVEN TO ANY MEDIA AT THE SCHOOL.
Listen to Chief Superintendent Christine Wilson's statement here: https://soundcloud.com/user-609560685/interview-with-chief-supt-christin...