A 16-year-old girl has been charged with attempted murder after a school welfare officer was stabbed in her office.
Police and ambulances were called to the Winterton Community Academy in North Lincolnshire after a 61-year-old woman, named locally as Joy Simon, was injured with a black-handled kitchen knife before 9am yesterday.
A schoolgirl was arrested and Mrs Simon was rushed to hospital. Police say her wounds are not life-threatening.
Georgina Corney, who went to the school to pick up her younger brother, said: ‘A female student from year 11 came into the school and approached the safeguarding room where Mrs Simon was.
‘She dropped her bag outside the door before going in and attacking Mrs Simon, who was defenceless.’
Police closed off Winterton Community Academy in North Lincolnshire on Monday after a school welfare officer was stabbed and a 16-year-old schoolgirl was arrested
Parents were sent this text message on Tuesday morning informing them that pupils were safe
Ms Coney added: ‘Cleaners who were finishing their morning of cleaning heard screams and cries for help and rushed down to the room and then were followed by other staff members, who held the attacker while emergency services arrived.’
Headteacher Gareth Morris, whose office is close to where the attack happened, said: When I arrived I could see a female member of staff was already been dealt with and being administered first aid.
‘Another member of staff had already restrained the pupil while we waited for the emergency services to arrive.
‘The incident was both horrific and very calm at the same time. Staff were there talking to a number of different emergency services at the same time.
‘They acted almost instinctively. The injured member of staff was very distressed.’
Staff said the weapon was a small kitchen knife which was ‘almost certainly’ brought into the school by the pupil.
Mr Morris sent a text to all parents advising them they could collect their children if they wished but the school remained open for the rest of the day.
‘This is a rare occurrence for something like this to happen in this locality or nationally,’ he added.
‘The school will be open tomorrow and everyone will be expected to be in school.
‘PCSOs will be here for the rest of the week and the local authority will be providing on-site support for pupils.’
Chief Superintendent Christine Wilson, of Humberside Police, added: ‘The alarm was raised through witnesses hearing a disturbance which was in a room where the teacher and the student themselves were.
A woman police officer stood at the gates of the school on Monday afternoon after the incident
‘Staff responded to raised voices and called police upon finding her having been stabbed. We were on-hand quickly at the site and she was arrested.
‘The teacher has non-life-threatening injuries and is in hospital with family. She will make a full recovery.
‘Incidents like this are extremely rare – I can’t think of another like this in my time as a police officer. We will have a police presence in the school for the rest of the week.’
Mrs J. Simon is listed as working as an inclusion support officer at the school on its website. Mervyn Smith, 85, a neighbour, confirmed Mrs Simon worked as a welfare officer at the school.
Jack Clixby wrote on Facebook: ‘Absolutely f***ing shocked at this! How could anyone do this to Joy! Such a lovely lady! Wishing her a speedy recovery!’
Samantha Threadgold added: ‘Miss Simons has been attacked by a young lass.’
Parents of children at the school wrote online that they believed no other youngsters were present when the alleged attack took place.
They praised the school worker injured, saying: ‘She’s lovely. I hope she is okay.’
Trudi Chapman, whose 11-year-old daughter Sophie is in Year Seven at the school, said she found out what was going on through Facebook.
She said: ‘My daughter told me that the children were not allowed out of class.
‘I texted my daughter asking ‘is everything okay, you need to talk to me now’ and she told me that children aren’t being allowed out of their classrooms and that the children don’t know what they are meant to do.
‘I was shaking like a leaf – all I was thinking about was my daughter.’
A girl has been arrested after a welfare officer from this school near Scarborough was stabbed
The school is situated in a small village to the north of Scunthorpe in north Lincolnshire
Chief Superintendent Christine Wilson said: ‘We attended a serious incident just before 9.00am this morning at Winterton Community Academy, and a 61 year old woman is being treated in hospital for serious but not life threatening injuries.
‘Staff at the school and police officers responded to this isolated incident very quickly, and one person is currently in custody as a result.
‘There was no disruption to any other children, none of whom witnessed the incident. Children at the school have not been directly affected by this.’
Police confirmed the girl arrested is a student at the school.
Winterton Community Academy is a mixed-sex school with 518 students on its rolls.
It converted to an academy from comprehensive status in 2012 and was rated as Good during its last Ofsted inspection in 2016.
The school is based in Winterton – a small town in north Lincolnshire about five miles away from Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire.
The incident will raise questions about teacher safety in schools, following similar cases in recent years, like that of Ann Maguire.
The Spanish teacher was fatally stabbed in the back by 15-year-old Will Cornick as she taught a class at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds in 2014.
And in Bradford, Vincent Uzomah was stabbed in the stomach by a 14-year-old boy in a racially motivated attack in front of pupils at Dixons Kings Academy in 2015.
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