Fareham school principal hits back at criticism over lockdown saying 'we prioritised student safety'

A principal has hit back at parents who have criticised the school after it went into lockdown.

Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 12:54 pm
Claudia Cubbage, principal of Henry Cort Community College in Fareham. Picture: Sarah Standing (151985-5702)

Henry Cort Community College, in Fareham, activated the emergency protocol yesterday after two knives went missing from a classroom. 

Some parents on social media were critical of the secondary school with one telling The News ‘We have had no communication from the school and there was minimal information given to the children’. 

However principal Claudia Cubbage has responded saying that her priority was the ‘safety of staff and students’. 

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She added: 'We had a group of parents who came down to the school and demanded we take their children out of school now. 

'We were not in a position to allow them to do that. 

'My whole interest was in the safety of my students and staff at that time.

‘It was unhelpful at that time for the parents to come down.

'It is a very fluid process and my main priority is the safety of my staff and students, not keeping parents informed minute by minute.’ 

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Here’s why a Fareham school went into lockdown 

Mrs Cubbage said that other parents on social media had praised Henry Cort for the way that they had handled the lockdown and saying they were ‘doing the right thing’. 

'On our Facebook we have had lots of comments saying that we have done everything right,’ she explained. 

'The children missed their lunch and they all agreed that we were doing the right thing for that situation.’ 

A video which was sent to The News yesterday showed children hiding under tables during the lockdown but Mrs Cubbage described it as an isolated incident. 

She said: 'That was one classroom.’

Mrs Cubbage also explained that lockdowns at schools can happen for a ‘variety of reasons’. 

She added: ‘Lockdowns have been in place since the Prevent protocol came in place. It is not new, it is not a new thing. 

'Schools have had them for many, many years. About 15 years ago we had one for a helicopter landing on our field. 

'Lockdowns come for a variety of different reasons.’ 

Giving an update on the missing knives, which sparked the lockdown on Monday afternoon, Mrs Cubbage described it as an on-going investigation. 

'The missing knives have not been found, we have done everything in our powers and it's an on-going investigation, we are working with police,’ she said.  

Searches of students bags were carried out yesterday as they left the school following the lockdown.