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'Staff didn't notice the big bruise': Mother slams school's response to attack on son

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:28 21 November 2019

Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form. Picture: Archant

Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form. Picture: Archant

A mother whose teenage son was left badly bruised after being attacked by a classmate has raised concerns about the school's response.

The 14-year-old pupil at Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form was on school premises when he was attacked by another pupil on Monday, November 4.

The boy's 34-year-old mother said he was left with bruises and swelling to his face after the assault, which she claims was unprovoked.

But she feels the school's punishment for the attacker - a day and a half in isolation - did not go far enough.

The school said it applied "appropriate sanctions" to all such incidents and that pupils' safety was of paramount concern.

The mother, who did not want her or her son to be named for fear of repercussions from the attacker, was told about the incident by her younger daughter, who also attends the school.

"I raced up to the school - my son was terrified but hadn't told anybody and the staff had not noticed the big purple bruise on the side of his face," she said.

"I cannot get my head around the fact that somebody has hit my son and he is terrified to go to school and there is nothing I can do about it.

"It worries me day to day sending my son and daughter to school knowing that if anything was to happen there would be no consequences for it."

She said she raised her concerns about the offending pupil's punishment with the school and also reported the incident to Norfolk Police.

Officers reportedly classed the assault as actual bodily harm (ABH) as the boy sustained visible injuries, but left the punishment within the school's jurisdiction.

She said she was particularly concerned about the incident given recent crimes in Norwich involving teenagers, including one in which a 13-year-old was stabbed outside a shop near Larkman Lane.

"If schools do not deal with bullying what is to stop pupils coming into school with weapons and using them? I feel I have a right to be concerned," she said.

Peter Lambert, acting principal at Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form, said: "All incidents in school are taken very seriously, they are fully investigated and the appropriate sanctions applied in each individual case. The safeguarding of our students is of the utmost importance to us, as it is in all schools."

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