Boy, 14, charged following Walsall school lockdown due to 'potential threat'
A 14-year-old boy has been charged after a school was put into lockdown due to a "potential threat" on the first day back after October half-term.
Teachers, staff and students at Ormiston Shelfield Community Academy were placed in an emergency lockdown on Monday while police dealt with a "potential threat" to the school.
The academy received a call from West Midlands Police at around 3pm advising staff at the school to go into lockdown after they received a phone call highlighting a "credible threat".
Officers were sent to the school shortly after. A 14-year-old was later arrested and charged with malicious communication/conveying false information.
Leaders today confirmed the academy was "operating as usual" and there was a "calm atmosphere".
A West Midlands Police spokesperson said: "We sent officers to Ormiston Shelfield Community Academy, Broad Way, Pelsall, shortly before 3pm yesterday, after we received a phone call highlighting a potential threat to the school.
"The school was placed in lockdown as we dealt with the incident, and a boy aged 14 was arrested.
"He has since been charged with malicious communication/conveying false information. He will appear at Wolverhampton Youth Court on November 22 for a first hearing.
"We liaised closely with the school throughout and have been offering reassurance."
Concerned parents received a letter from the school following the lockdown which read: "The academy received a call just after 3pm today from West Midlands Police directing us to lockdown the academy site as they had received a credible threat.
"The academy immediately informed all parents/carers via Class Charts of the situation.
"Shortly afterwards, the police arrived and advised that the threat was false and malicious and gave us permission to release the students home.
"Obviously, this was a traumatic episode for some students and staff and one I have not witnessed myself in the 23 years I have worked at the academy. West Midlands Police have thanked us for our quick response and also wished to pass on their thanks to the vast majority of parents and carers who remained calm with limited information.
"On behalf of the academy, can I reiterate their thanks. Tomorrow, we will be giving students information about the event to reassure them of their safety on site."
One parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "We received the alert from the school, your mind instantly thinks the worst, especially in this day and age. A lockdown isn't put into place for just anything.
"I'm just glad it was nothing really. But I don't think people know how much of an emotional toll this sort of thing takes on all of us."
A spokeswoman for the school said: “Following advice from the police regarding a false threat towards the academy, we took immediate action to safely lockdown our site as a precautionary measure.
"As soon as the police confirmed the area was safe, students were able to leave site. We have communicated these developments throughout with parents/carers, and remain in ongoing liaison with the police.
“The academy is operating as usual today, and there is a calm atmosphere. However, again as a precautionary measure we are providing additional information and support on our safety processes to reassure any students who need it.
“We would like to thank all our students and staff who closely followed our robust health and safety protocols in an exemplary manner, and parents/carers for their ongoing understanding and support.”