Parents call for improved security measures after stabbing at Bradford school

Principal Neil Miley and executive principal Nick Weller speak at a press conference  at Dixon Kings Academy. Picture by Tony Johnson
Principal Neil Miley and executive principal Nick Weller speak at a press conference at Dixon Kings Academy. Picture by Tony Johnson
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PARENTS coming to terms with a stabbing at their children’s school have called for increased security or even metal detectors to prevent a repeat of similar incidents.

However the majority also said they did not feel that Dixons Kings Academy, in the Lidget Green area of Bradford, had any particular discipline problems.

After news broke this morning that 50-year old Vincent Uzomah had been stabbed a handful of parents came to the school to make sure children were safe.

Tahir Jamil, emerged saying he had been reassured that his 15-year-old daughter was safe and meeting staff with around four other families.

They’ve explained everything to us now,” he said. “Two of the teachers came out and explained everything to us.

“They didn’t tell us what teacher it was but now I’m satisfied. I wanted to take my daughter with me but they assured us that the school is safe.”

The was an obvious police presence at the school throughout the day.

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But many of the parents outside questioned whether more would need to be done to improve security in future.

Father-of-three Mohmammed Rafique said: “It is shocking. For something like this to happen is very serious. Maybe they could put metal dectectors on the gates as pupils come in. It wouldn’t cost too much to do this.”

He said the school was very good and pupils were well behaved.

Father Alex Hagan told the media gathered outside the school that parents would be contacting the school to call for improved security measures. However he said it was an isolated incident.

Driving instructor Asif Arajas’s son Ibrahim, 14, and daughter Iqrah, 13, are students at the school.

Mr Arajas, 39, said: “I think there should be a bit more precaution security wise because my child could be harmed by another child. It might be more work for the school, but you have got to think about the safety of the children. Children should be checked for knives, definitely.”

“It is my children going there and I’m thinking of the safety of my children. If a teacher can be stabbed then obviously a child could be stabbed as well.”

Earlier, parent Shakeel Ahmed, 39, said he got a text from his 14-year-old son saying there had been a stabbing.

“My son texted my wife and said ‘child stabbed teacher’ - that’s it,” said Mr Ahmed. He then sent a text to say everybody’s all right.”

Mr Ahmed said: “I came to see my son and see if he’s all right but the police wouldn’t let me in. The teachers said he’s OK.” He said the school was good and did not have discipline problems.

But he added: “They should check every child who goes in to check they’re not carrying anything. The school should take its responsibilities.”

Dixons Kings was first opened in 2011 as the Kings Science Academy - one of the country’s first free 24 schools.

It became engulfed in a financial scandal after a Department for Education audit found allegations of fraud. Three former members of staff including the school’s founder and principal Sajid Raza have been charged and await trial.

Dixons, an academy chain in Bradford were brought in to run the school following a critical Ofsted inspection. The school was renamed Dixons Kings in January.

Dixons has praised the school community for its response to the incident. A statement said: “We cannot commend highly enough our students and staff for the way they have conducted themselves during a verydifficult situation. Finally, thank you to parents and the wider community for their overwhelming support.”

Parents will be invited to an open meeting early next week as it seeks to restore normality.

The school’s principal Neil Miley said the academy had stayed open to provide students with consistency.”

However one parent who asked to remain anonymous was critical of the way in which the school had communicated it. “We only had two text messages. We felt frantic. We had no way of knowing what our kids had seen, how they were coping, what they were being told or asked about all of this.”

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