Pupil finds used needle and syringe in primary school car park
PUBLISHED: 11:44 05 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:59 05 December 2019
A mother has hit out at her daughter's school for poor communication with parents after drug paraphernalia was discovered on school grounds.
A pupil at Heartsease Primary Academy in Norwich found the used needle and syringe in the school car park at around 5.30pm on Thursday, November 28.
An initial Facebook post from a parent about the incident circulated quickly on social media.
One mother who saw the post decided not to send her 10-year-old daughter to school the following day.
The mother, who did not want to be named, said: "I made the decision for her because until the school had done a complete clean I didn't feel it appropriate to take her back to school."
The school in Rider Haggard Road said it had conducted a full sweep of the grounds after the needle and syringe were found and reported the incident to the police.
But the mother felt the school had waited too long to notify parents of the discovery, which was reported in its weekly newsletter the next day.
She said: "Really they should have put something out on the day."
Alex Burrell, headteacher at Heartsease Primary Academy, said the school's private finance initiative (PFI) agreement with construction firm Kier meant the grounds were checked every day.
"The Facebook post caused a stir before we were able to do what we needed to do to make sure the school was safe," she said.
"We have high fences and CCTV, but unfortunately the needle had been thrown in.
"I followed the protocol to contact Kier, we did a full sweep of the grounds that evening and I went around later to check again.
"Everybody is quite vigilant. We do whatever we can to make sure the grounds are safe. We also spoke to the children in assembly so they know what to do if they ever find anything like that."
Mrs Burrell added that the pupil who found the needle was told to seek medical advice and that the items were safely disposed of.
The school newsletter entry about the incident said: "Unfortunately a discarded needle/syringe was found on the school grounds last night. This has been reported to the authorities and the whole school grounds have been swept to ensure clear. As a school, we do everything we can to ensure our pupils' safety, however, please remain vigilant and report anything of risk."