Friday, March 24, 2023

Pupil arrested after "Smoke Bomb" causes mass evacuation of Gateway Academy in Tilbury

1815 hrs

Update from Gateway Academy

Following on from our announcement earlier on today, Miss McLaughlin, Head of School, added “Can I thank all students, parents, carers and staff for their support today following the Gateway Academy and Gateway Primary Free School’s evacuation procedures being enacted.

"Upon discovery of a suspect device, we acted in line with the school policies to ensure that the safety of all students and staff were maintained. The relevant authorities were contacted and procedures followed to ensure that the device was investigated and dealt with appropriately.

"All subsequent checks were carried out by the authorities and the building was declared safe to return.

"As you can appreciate, it was impossible to predict how long it would take for the relevant checks to be done and the building declared safe for the students to return back to lessons.

"We commend the conduct of the staff and students throughout, student behaviour was impeccable. All measures were made to ensure the safeguarding of over 1600 students and this was the priority at all times, at no point was any student at risk.

"We look forward to seeing all students on Monday morning when both schools will be open as usual. Any further information will be communicated through the school websites.”

Statement from Essex Police

"Police have gone to the Gateway Academy, in Marshfoot Road, following reports that a pupil had brought into school a suspicious device. The MOD have been contacted and an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team has been called to assess the device. The school has been evacuated as a precaution. A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with this incident and has been taken to Grays Police Station for questioning.

Statement from Gateway Academy

"Today the Gateway Academy and Free school were evacuated temporarily as a result of a student bringing a homemade smoke bomb on to the school site. The device was not released and discovered by a member of staff. The police advised that it should be taken as a serious matter. As a result the Academy’s evacuation procedures were enacted. The device was removed by the police and destroyed.

Head of School, Grainne McLaughlin said: "We take the safety of staff and students as our highest priority and will never take risks in this regard. As for the young person in question, he will be subject to the disciplinary procedures of the GLC. It will be up to a panel of governors to decide his future at the academy. In the meantime, he will be suspended from the academy".

1245 hrs

THERE are reports that Gateway Academy school in Tilbury has been evacuated.

YT understands that the school was cleared at just after 1130.

Unconfirmed reports have suggested that a smoke bomb of some description may have been brought onto the premises on Marshfoot Road, Grays.

YT spoke to Tilbury councillor, Claire Baldwin, who was standing outside the school.

Cllr Baldwin said: "I can see a lot of children standing on the playing fields. There are a lot of police officers here.

"I heard that a student had taken a smoke bomb into school but that is unverified."

YT has contacted Essex Police.

More follows.


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