CHILDREN have been accused of smuggling at least one knife into their primary school and using it to slash a pupil’s bike tyres.
Boys from Manor School in Didcot were allegedly involved in an ‘extremely serious’ incident, after which police officers uncovered two knives from the school.
The school sent emails to parents on Wednesday, one week after the incident happened, confirming a group of boys ‘damaged a pupil’s bicycle tyres using a knife’ at school.
It said those involved are in year six – meaning they are either 10 or, at most, 11-years-old.
A parent whose daughter attends the school, who asked not to be named, said: “My concern is that, although they are year six and leave in a few weeks, they might involve younger boys and make them think it’s normal or cool. I don’t know what their intentions were.
“They [the school] is not doing anything about it – it’s not good enough. It has lost control of the big side of the school. We are talking about knives in a primary school.”
The mum said said one boy was suspended as a result of the incident, but the school has not yet confirmed this.
She was concerned that staff did not tell initially tell parents what happened, adding: “Covering it up is not the way forward.”
She showed the Oxford Mail a letter the school had given her in a meeting, which was not circulated to others.
It said: “Following a dispute between children (which originated outside of school) items were brought in with the intention of vandalising a Year 6 child’s bicycle.
"These included an Allen key and a knife, of the type used to peel vegetables...Not only is this criminal damage, but carrying a knife without good reason is even more serious.
“Behaviour of this nature is completely unacceptable.”
The email sent to parents by headteacher John Hawkins added: “This is an extremely serious incident which is being dealt with by the school and appropriate authorities including the police and support services. Be assured that the safety of your children is paramount.”
He told the Oxford Mail he was unable to comment further as police Thames Valley Police was still investigating.
Police spokesman James Williams confirmed officers were called to the school 'after reports that two knives had been found at the school'.
He added: "The knives were recovered and the incident is being investigated as possession of an article with a blade or point.
"We are working with the school to establish why the knives were left at the school and who left the knives at the school.
"Since the knives were recovered, our schools’ officer has liaised with the school to provide advice, support and information about the dangers of knives to pupils."
He said no arrests have been made at this stage.
The school in Lydalls Close teaches about 500 pupils aged between four and 11-years-old.
It was rated ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted last year, but inspectors said pupils’ welfare was ‘good’ and noted bullying was rare.
Anyone with any information about the incident can call 101 and quote reference 43170136347, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.