Tragic boy's father slams school
The father of a public schoolboy has criticised his school for announcing his death to other parents before he had been told.
William Avery-Wright, 13, died after being knocked down by a 4x4 outside his school as he crossed a road to play in a rugby match.
His father, Christopher Avery-Wright, said Worth School, near Turners Hill, Crawley, West Sussex, sent out an email to parents after William had been struck saying he had been injured.
Then around half an hour later another email without his knowledge was sent to parents announcing William's death - while Mr Avery-Wright was still unaware of it on a train from London, he said.
As he was on the train, Mr Avery-Wright said he started receiving messages of condolence via text from people who had received the school's email.
William's mother, Lisa Avery-Wright, had already arrived at the hospital but she was advised not to break the news of the death to her husband until he was there too.
Following an inquest into William's death, Mr Avery-Wright condemned the school, saying it had acted "appallingly" and that its actions had caused "incredible pain". The parents are suing the school, where William excelled at cricket, rugby and football, claiming he should have been supervised by an adult across the road.
The Roman Catholic school, which also posted a statement on its website about William's death, has previously said it published the information in "good faith" but its initial belief that both his parents had been told about the tragedy turned out to be "incorrect".
Following the two-day inquest at Crawley Town Hall, West Sussex assistant deputy coroner Bridget Dolan recorded a verdict of accidental death. No mention was made in her closing remarks about the way in which the school disclosed William's death before his father had been told.
Ms Dolan had said the inquest's focus was on three matters - the events of the day of the crash, the school's road crossing policy and what changes have been made since William's death. The coroner ruled out submissions by the family's solicitor that William died as a result of neglect but she did say school rules had not been "adhered to".