Today saw the release of a review into what was described as Columbine massacre-style plot at Northallerton school in Yorkshire. The case hit was covered by the media in 2017 and described how two Students Thomas Wyllie and Alex Bolland had planned to carry out an execution at their school and had drawn up a “hit-list” of targets – which included students – at the school, who had bullied and wronged them, as well as teachers.
The boys were arrested and given ten and 12-year custodial sentences for conspiracy to murder as tragedy was avoided but now what has been done to address the issues including bullying to make sure it can never happen in the future will be kept confidential by the authorities and agencies involved.
A multi-agency lessons learned review followed in order that lessons could be learnt and now 2 years later the report is concluded but will not be made public and vital safeguarding information will be kept from the public. The report has recommended action to support vulnerable pupils and to tackle bullying amongst other issues but again a policy that allows a lack of transparency and accountability means no one outside of the agencies will know if everything possible has actually been done to stop this happening again.
As has happened in so many of the tragic stories within our campaign, a lack of information means parents and teachers are unable to take steps to protect children from harm. Our Government and politicians need to heed the warnings of cases like this and our efforts to continually highlight what is happening with the hidden issues of bullying and violence in schools and we’ll continue speaking out until we are heard and policies changed to increase transparency. We just hope and pray that as much as we are trying to do and with all that we have done so far, that our efforts don’t come too late.