Mum’s upset after boy ‘stabbed’ at Eastbourne school

A mum has spoken of her upset after her son was stabbed by another pupil at an Eastbourne school.

Wednesday, 27th May 2020, 11:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th May 2020, 12:22 pm

The mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, has criticised the way Gildredge House handled the situation after her child was struck with what is believed to have been a craft knife.

The incident happened on December 19 and the boy was taken to hospital by his mother, who said he was treated for a wound in his upper back.

She said, “He had a hole in his upper back approximately 1cm width and of unknown depth. He was soaked in blood.

The boy was taken to hospital after the incident

“The school asked me to cover his back with his blazer so to not worry other parents... of course I thought this was absurd and didn’t.

“The hospital glued the hole and put a dressing on it. They said he was lucky not to have done more damage.”

According to the mother, the school tried to dissuade her from reporting the incident to the police. However, she did report it and officers investigated.

Sussex Police confirmed the report in a statement to this newspaper.

Gildredge House School in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

A spokesperson for the force said, “Police received a report of one pupil wounding another at Gildredge House School on December 19.

“Officers carried out an investigation, in liaison with the school, and steps have been taken to address the behaviour of the pupil involved.

“This has included strong words of advice and a referral to Reboot, the police’s early intervention scheme for people aged 11-17.”

According to the boy’s mother, in the months following he was ‘treated like the perpetrator’ and developed anxiety and depression which caused her to take him out of school.

She said, “Following the stabbing my son suffered retribution from other pupils, for their blame of him getting the police involved.

“This was face to face and on social media and there were multiple incidents. The senior leadership team [at Gildredge House] did not recognise the attempts of revenge.

“I am appalled at the school’s management of the situation and the outcome of our experience. The school’s leadership’s aim was evidently to protect their reputation and to brush this lifechanging incident under the carpet.”

Responding to these complaints, the head teacher of Gildredge House Stuart Reeves said the school could have done better and has since strengthened its safeguarding procedures.

Mr Reeves said “We fully accept that our response to the incident on December 19 could have been better, although we believe we reacted appropriately to the reports we received.

“Since the incident we have strengthened our safeguarding processes to ensure we are better placed to deal with incidents in the future.”

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