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Councillors and parents call for investigation into "suspect device" incident at Gateway Academy

TILBURY councillors and parents have called for an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the "suspect device" incident at Gateway Academy on Friday.

A full school evacuation took place after a 14-year-old student allegedly took a "suspect device" into the school.

As the teenager has been arrested, specific references to the case are not allowed to be made by the media but a general discussion on the events is allowed.

Tilbury councillors, Lynn Worrall and Claire Baldwin have both spoken to YT and expressed their concerns that a full investigation takes place.

Cllr Worrall said: "I think we would all be reassured if the school not only conducted an investigation but also published their findings.

"There seemed to be chaotic scenes. I have had a lot of mums contacting me complaining that they felt the whole scene was handled badly.

"They told me that children were freezing cold, hungry and scared. Parents say they were not informed."

Tilbury resident Stuart Marshall, who is a former school governor said "My daughter was told not to use her mobile phone and let us know she is safe.

"The first I heard of events was on YourThurrock and social media.

"We tried to ring the school but we could not get through".

The schools communication officer, Alison King did not issue a statement to YourThurrock until 5pm on the Friday afternoon.

YT spoke to Thurrock Council, who due to the academy system, has very little to do with the day to day running of the school but has a "safeguarding remit".

A spokesperson said: "The Council is aware of the incident at Gateway Academy and is in touch with the school.

"It is a matter for the Academy to investigate alongside Essex Police as appropriate"

Last year, the school was subject to a safeguarding inspection by Ofsted following a series of incidents.

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