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Girl, 16, held over ‘horrific’ stabbing of school welfare officer

A 61-year-old woman suffered non-life threatening wounds in the attack at Winterton Community Academy in North Lincolnshire.

A headteacher has described the stabbing of a welfare officer in a school office as “horrific”.

A 16-year-old girl was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following the stabbing of the 61-year-old woman member of staff at Winterton Community Academy, near Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, on Monday morning, Humberside Police said.

Headteacher Gareth Morris said it is believed the welfare officer, who he did not want to name, was attacked with a small kitchen knife which was brought into school.

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Winterton Community Academy (Nigel Roddis/PA)

He said the injured staff member was taken to hospital and “she’s recovering”. Her injuries are not to be life-threatening, officers have said.

Speaking outside the school, which is at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in the rural village of Winterton, Mr Morris said: “The first I knew this morning was when members of staff called for me. My office is not very far away from where the incident happened.

“When I arrived on the scene, the female member of the staff was already being administered first aid by my staff and another member of staff had restrained the pupil.

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Police outside Winterton Community Academy in North Lincolnshire (Nigel Roddis/PA)

“I then assisted restraining the pupil whilst waiting for the emergency services to arrive.”

Mr Morris said his “fantastic” staff dealt with the situation very quickly and professionally.

He said: “It was both horrific and very calm at the same time.”

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Police said the girl, a student at the academy, was being questioned by officers (Nigel Roddis/PA)

The head said he immediately sent out a text message to all parents saying there had been a serious incident in school but all students were safe and secure.

Following this, he said, most parents took up an option of coming to collect their children, although the school remained open.

He said the woman involved was “a very well regarded member of staff – a very important member of our pastoral team”.

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Chief Superintendent Christine Wilson (Nigel Roddis/PA )

He said: “She was obviously distressed. No doubt she was very shocked at the situation.

“It’s a very rare incident to happen in this locality and nationally.”

Also speaking outside school, Chief Superintendent Christine Wilson said the school had no history of violent incidents and it remained open.

Ms Wilson said her officers responded to a “fight” in an office in the school and stressed the incident did not happen in a class.

“It happened in an office in the school, so all of the rest of the children were completely safe,” she said. “They were all in their separate classrooms.

“And it is, obviously, a very rare and isolated incident.

“I can’t think of another incident that’s happened like this in my time as a police officer. We’ve not ever been to an incident at the school before. The school has never had a teacher assaulted by a pupil before.

“So it is extremely rare. It was reacted to very quickly by the school and also local officers. I’m not sure we could have done anything to prevent this happening today. Random acts of individuals either in the street or on private premises, sometimes we can’t legislate for.”

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