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Calls for review of school safety following Ammanford incident

01 May 2024 3 minute read
Police and Forensic investigators at Amman Valley school, in Ammanford. Photo Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Emily Price

Calls are being made for the Welsh Government to commit to a national review of school safety following a stabbing incident in Ammanford that saw three people injured.

Two teachers at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman were allegedly attacked by a 13-year-old girl at the end of the morning break on April 24 in an incident that also saw a pupil injured.

The school, also known as Amman Valley School, was placed into lockdown for several hours.

All three were taken to hospital for treatment to knife injuries, but were discharged the following day, Dyfed-Powys Police said.

The girl has been remanded to youth detention accommodation after appearing in court charged with three offences of attempted murder and one offence of possession of a knife on school premises.

She is expected to appear at Swansea Crown Court next month to enter her pleas.

Adam Price, the Member of the Senedd for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr which includes Ammanford, is calling for a for a national review of safety at Welsh schools.

Commitment

The Plaid Cymru MS said: “It’s important to emphasise that the detailed context of this individual case are not known and will be subject to a case review once the legal process has concluded.

“No assumptions should be made at this stage about the factors which may have been involved in this particular incident.

“However, the very fact that staff and students have been injured at a Welsh school following a knife attack in of itself now warrants an immediate commitment to a national review of school safety.

“Both staff and students must be confident that schools in Wales are safe and secure places of learning. This review would renew that confidence and help to ensure that last week’s events are not repeated.”

Mr Price says the review should cover:

  • The Welsh Government’s current proposal to phase out the funding for School Community Police Officers.
  • The accessibility and resourcing of Pupil Referral Units.
  • The resourcing and procedures of other relevant services, in particular CAMHS and other children and young people services.
  • The national guidelines to schools on dealing with challenging behaviour.
  • Data on the prevalence of knife possession in Welsh schools and the policies in place to address this.

Cllr Ann Davies, Carmarthenshire County Council Cabinet Member for Community Cohesion said: “We were all shocked by the incident at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman last week and many are now asking what we can do to ensure that this does not happen again.

“By undertaking this review, we will be able to better understand the challenges that our schools are facing across Wales, and how the Welsh Government and we, as local authorities, can support them to create a safe and secure environment for staff and pupils.”

The Welsh Government says it will work with schools on concerns regarding safety.

A spokesperson said: “There are currently no plans to launch a national review on school safety.

“All education settings in Wales have a legal duty to provide a safe learning environment and all schools will therefore have emergency procedures in place for dealing with rare incidents.

“We will work with teachers and school staff and listen to any concerns they may have about school safety.”


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hdavies15
hdavies15
25 days ago

You can have review after review on matters such as this but the findings and related decisions will always be one step behind. Tend to be little more than nice little earners for those selected on the review panel. Better spend time on a close examination of the perpetrator’s circumstances in the round and something of relevance might be uncovered.

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