Lessons go on as teenager quizzed

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Published: Friday 12th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Lessons at a school where a teacher was stabbed will continue as normal today as police question a teenager over the attack.

Supply teacher Vincent Uzomah, 50, was stabbed in the stomach at Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford yesterday morning as he began a science lesson.

The teacher, who had been working at the school for a few weeks, was taken to hospital and was last night said to be in a stable, non-life threatening condition with his family by his bedside.

The attack led to a six-hour hunt for a 14-year-old boy who was later arrested in the city centre on suspicion of attempted murder.

The youngster fled the scene straight after the attack, scaling a perimeter fence.

Video footage purporting to show the boy being arrested has been posted online. A number of police officers are seen to handcuff the suspect and lead him away as members of the public look on.

It is understood Mr Uzomah was stabbed with a kitchen knife smuggled into the school.

Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson, of West Yorkshire Police, said specially trained staff were talking to the children who “potentially witnessed something horrendous”.

Parents who gathered outside the school after hearing the news said the school had a good reputation for discipline but were concerned about the effects on their children.

Some children leaving with their parents after school said they had heard the incident began with a dispute over a mobile phone.

Police were alerted by paramedics who were called to the school at around 8.55am.

Mr Atkinson said: “There were a number of pupils who witnessed this incident, which took place in a classroom, and they are currently liaising with our specially trained officers who are obviously supporting them at this difficult time.

“This is believed to be an isolated incident and the police are continuing inquiries to establish the facts.

“I would like to reassure residents and staff that all necessary resources are being deployed to investigate this ongoing and clearly serious incident.”

Mr Atkinson added: ” We’re speaking with the pupils there to see what they actually saw.

“We’ve got a welfare issue to make sure we manage as well since they potentially witnessed something horrendous.”

Speaking outside the school gates, the executive principal of the Dixons Academy group in Bradford, Nick Weller, said: “It happened right at the beginning of the school day and there were some students who witnessed it. A few students witnessed it – in a classroom.

“Those students have been interviewed by the police. Obviously, it’s a very shocking thing for them to see. The general atmosphere in the school is very calm, quite orderly, we’re trying to keep to normal routines as much as possible.”

Mr Weller said there was nothing in school that suggested the attack was going to be launched.

He confirmed the suspect had been at the school for a year.

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 okay.”

He said the school was “good” and did not have discipline problems.

The school is about 15 miles away from Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds, where veteran teacher Ann Maguire was stabbed to death by a student just over a year ago.

Dixons Kings Academy – then called the Kings Science Academy – started in 2011 as one of the first free schools in England and was visited by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012, but it was beset by financial controversy and the former head and other staff members were arrested. Their prosecution is ongoing.

The Dixons Academy Trust, which runs seven other schools in Bradford, took over the school in January.

Published: Friday 12th June 2015 by The News Editor

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