Head under attack shielded by pupils

3rd April 1998 at 01:00
Children formed a human shield around their headteacher, after he was attacked by three intruders at a Midlands school.

Len Wild was knocked to the ground as he ordered the men out of Mitchell high school, in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. The men, all in their 20s, had been seen intimidating youngsters in the playground.

Two ran off but the third punched Mr Wild to the ground. At least a dozen pupils surrounded him on the school steps until the attacker left.

Mr Wild, who is in his mid-50s, suffered leg injuries and is expected to be detained in the North Staffordshire hospital for another week recovering from a knee operation.

Maurice Lewis, the chairman of governors, said the attack had reminded him of the one involving Philip Lawrence, the London headteacher who was stabbed to death while defending a pupil outside his school in December 1995.

Mr Lewis said: "Mr Wild dashed to protect the pupils, as I would expect him to do. Two of the intruders ran off, but the other decided to stand his ground. He punched Mr Wild in the face.

"The kids immediately encircled him to protect him from any further attack. Knowing the children, they would do that, and knowing Mr Wild, he would not think about himself."

The incident at Mitchell High was caught on the school's security cameras which the police are using in their hunt for the intruders.

The school installed security cameras on its site five years ago to improve security, and some teachers carry walkie-talkies. The grounds are used as a short-cut between housing estates.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today