Monday, 4 February 2008

After the terrible incident on Friday I emailed my colleague John McCall, headteacher at Allerton Grange High School...

"Dear John, Everyone involved with the school on Friday tells me how impressive you and your colleagues were and how well you handled a student's moment of madness and its terrible consequences. I hope that you have managed to get a few moments peace over the weekend. I know that everyone will been thinking about you, your colleagues and the young people at Allerton Grange. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help this week.
Best wishes, Chris"

John's reply was typical of the man...

"Dear Chris, Thank you very much for your kind message of support regarding the serious incident which occurred in school on Friday. It is, as you can imagine, a very difficult time for staff, students and parents. However, I can't stress enough the value I place on the support I have had from teams in Education Leeds and the Police. I am determined to lead the school to a peaceful outcome. Kind regards, John"

The stabbing at Allerton Grange High School reminds us all that we must work even harder to explain to all our young people that carrying weapons of any kind is unacceptable. Colleagues at Allerton Grange High School coped brilliantly and ensured that the school continued to work and that its young people were all safe. We must remember that this is a unique event in a Leeds school and we must work with parents and carers and the police to ensure that our schools continue to be happy, healthy, safe and increasingly successful places... whatever it takes!

We have been watching events elsewhere in the country and we will continue to develop the weapons awareness sessions we have been running in schools. We will encourage all secondary schools to sign up to a no knives, no guns and no nonsense approach involving all their students which has already been piloted here in Leeds.

Whatever you do this week, think about the colleagues at Allerton Grange High School and keep the faith!

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