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Ashford schoolboy left with suspected broken eye socket after bully attack at Goldwyn school

By Herne Bay Times  |  Posted: April 05, 2013

BRUISED: Tyla Wanstall, who was attacked at school

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A TEENAGER was left with a suspected broken eye socket after he was attacked by another boy at Goldwyn Community School in Ashford.

Tyla Wanstall, 16, was floored by a punch from a fellow pupil and left dazed and in pain.

His shocked mum Leah Churchill, of Sunnyhill Road, Herne Bay, is now investigating home tutoring for her son and has made an official complaint to the school.

She said: "When I went to pick him up it looked like his face had been battered by a baseball bat. I'm so angry that this could happen at school, when I left my son in their care. And the more I look at my son's face, the more angry I get."

Tyla, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, attends Goldwyn Community School near Ashford.

The incident happened in the playground, shortly after another fight had taken place.

Miss Churchill said: "Tyla didn't see the punch coming, it happened so quickly.

"It knocked him off his feet.

"I do think the teachers should have been more on their guard. I feel very let down."

She is also angry that she was not contacted by the school, but by Tyla himself after he had been seen in the medical room.

Miss Churchill, who has three other children, said: "There were plenty of teachers around, both when it happened and afterwards when he was on the floor.

"But not one of them called me. My son called me, crying. He was in an absolute state. I was actually watching my younger daughter's Easter performance at Christ Church in William Street and it's heartbreaking to think that was happening to Tyla at the same time."

Miss Churchill took Tyla straight from school to Estuary View minor injuries unit in Whitstable, but they sent him to the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.

He is now reluctant to return to school after the Easter break and Miss Churchill may teach him at home.

Head teacher Bob Law said he could not comment on the specific circumstances surrounding the incident but said it was being taken seriously by staff.

He said children were discouraged from having mobile phones in school, and staff contact parents within half an hour of any incident, once the initial facts are known.

He said: "We are a school for children with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties. We are a successful school, and Ofsted said our care was outstanding in their last report. They also said the way we look after pupils is exemplary.

"But all that can't safeguard against disputes between two pupils. However we take all incidents like this seriously and liaise with the police."

He said the school's policy was not to permanently exclude any child, but anyone who attacked another student would face an automatic period of exclusion.

Mr Law added: "We would not defend any student who attacked another. We would quite often involve the police and look at a restorative justice system."

He said staff hoped Tyla would continue to revise for his GCSEs and return to finish his education, before taking up the college place identified for him.

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