Academy chain boss praises staff’s actions after body discovered at Thetford school

A man's body was discovered at Diamond Academy, Thetford

A man's body was discovered at Diamond Academy, Thetford - Credit: Archant

An academy chain boss has praised quick thinking staff at a primary school after a man's body was discovered on its grounds.

Emergency services were called to Diamond Academy in Thetford on Friday to reports that the body of a man had been found on the school field.

It was Chris MacKinnon, principal of the Academy Transformation Trust school, who discovered the body just after 1.30pm.

The trust's managing director Joyce Hodgetts, who is also chair of governors at Diamond Academy, said it was a 'shocking and sad' event 'for the school and the community'.

'Mr MacKinnon and the rest of the staff have gone to a great deal of trouble to make sure that the youngsters understand and can get their head around what is taking place.

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'They moved very quickly to ensure as little disruption and emotional upset to the children as possible,' she said.

The school on Hillary Road opened as normal on Monday and held an assembly at which staff explained the situation to pupils and allowed them to ask questions.

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Mrs Hodgetts said: 'The children are curious, but they are also concerned and saddened. It is about being able to help them with that and give them the chance to talk if they want to.

'We work very hard in schools these days to make sure youngsters understand what is going on in the world. You protect them as much as you possibly can, but the world is still there and these things happen.'

The school was due to send a letter to parents on Monday offering its support to parents and children.

Mrs Hodgetts added: 'Our thoughts are with the family.'

The body of the man, who has yet to be identified, was discovered on a patch of land at the end of the school grounds which is used as a nature reserve.

Residents in Hillary Road and Fulmerston Road expressed their shock at the incident, which caused a police seal to be put in place around the school.

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