Teenage girl arrested after teachers and pupil stabbed at Welsh school

Teenage girl arrested after teachers and pupil stabbed at Welsh school

A teenage girl has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after two teachers and a pupil were stabbed at a Welsh school.

Emergency services attended Amman Valley School, also known as Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, in Carmarthenshire, south-west Wales, just after 11.20am on Wednesday.

Superintendent Ross Evans, of Dyfed-Powys Police, speaking at the scene on Wednesday, said the three victims had not sustained life-threatening injuries.

He said: “Two teachers and a teenage pupil were taken to hospital with stab wounds, their injuries are not life-threatening.

“A teenage girl has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and currently remains in police custody. A knife has been recovered in evidence.”

Mr Evans previously said that the families of those injured had been informed.

The school was placed into lockdown for several hours, pupils were able to leave at about 3.20pm. It will not open on Thursday, to allow police to continue their investigation.

Headteacher James Durbridge praised staff and pupils for their “calm and mature response” to the lockdown in a message on the school’s website.

He said it had been a difficult day, adding: “It goes without saying that my thoughts are with the three individuals and their families, who have been affected by today’s incident.

“In the immediate aftermath of the incident, our priority was to ensure the security of pupils and staff whilst managing the situation and communicating with those directly impacted. Working with the police we issued communication as soon as feasibly possible.

“I wish to commend all staff and pupils for their calm and mature response during today’s lockdown. We are proud to have witnessed pupils embodying the school’s core values while supporting their peers and staff.”

Parents who had gathered outside the school as news of the incident emerged were seen tearfully hugging their children after they walked through the gates.

Investigators in white forensic suits have been seen examining an area by the main building of the school, with police by the main entrance and nearby street.

Mr Evans added that police were working with the school and other agencies to provide support to those involved.

School graphic
(PA Graphics)

“This was a very distressing incident and our thoughts are with the victims, their family and everyone impacted by what has happened,” he said.

Police have asked for footage of the incident, currently circulating on social media, to be removed to avoid distress to those affected.

The force has also asked people not to speculate while their investigation is ongoing.

In a statement on its website, Amman Valley School said: “We would like to reassure parents and the public that the incident has been contained.”

Dafydd Llywelyn, police and crime commissioner for Dyfed-Powys, said he was deeply shocked.

Mr Llywelyn said: “My thoughts go out to all those affected, including the pupils, teachers and staff who were involved or witnessed this terrifying ordeal. Our thoughts are also with the families and friends of those injured.

“I want to commend those at the scene that ensured that the situation was brought under control and the emergency services who attended to safeguard the scene and reassure the public.”

Mr Llywelyn added: “I want to assure the public that the police investigation is ongoing, and that officers and staff will work tirelessly to understand the circumstances surrounding this incident.”

Politicians across Wales and the UK have described their shock at what happened. Home Secretary James Cleverly received updates.

First Minister Vaughan Gething posted on X, formerly Twitter, that it was a “deeply worrying time for the school, families and community”.

Also on X, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak thanked the police and emergency services for their work.

Mr Cleverly, speaking to reporters in Italy, said he had been receiving updates on the “terrible situation”.

“Obviously my thoughts are with the individuals who have been hurt and their friends and family, and what must have been an incredibly difficult and scary situation for the young people involved,” he added.

Jonathan Edwards, Independent MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, told Channel 5 News that the teachers had been attacked while intervening when a pupil was attacked.

He said: “There has been a stabbing of one of the students, and then teachers have tried to intervene and unfortunately also some of the teachers have been stabbed.

“I believe two teachers have been sent to hospital, one has been released with injuries to the arm and the hand, and I believe the other teacher unfortunately has been transferred to Cardiff, to the Heath Hospital, and that situation is far more serious.”

He added that he could not recall such an incident happening in Wales before and paid tribute to the emergency services.

One parent, Charlotte Rogers, who waited for her daughter to be released from the school, said she had been told that three people were stabbed.

Referring to her daughter, Ms Rogers added: “She said she was scared. She’s a tough cookie so fingers crossed. I just want to give her a big hug. I just want everyone to be safe. This shouldn’t have happened.”

Adam Price, Plaid Cymru MS for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, who attended the school between 1980 and 1987, described the incident as a “bolt from the blue”.

He told the PA news agency there would be lessons to learn to minimise the chances of such an incident happening again.

Mr Price added: “It is my home town, my school, and it is an excellent school in a really close-knit community. So a knife attack like this is not something you associate with our community.

“It was my only secondary school and it is a school that is right at the heart of the community. It is a very big secondary school, a very big comprehensive, and it has a very strong ethos and history going back over 100 years.”

Mair Wyn, who has been a governor at Amman Valley School for 34 years, said “times have changed” and “a teacher’s job is very dangerous”.

She said: “It is a complete shock for the community.

Ammanford incident
Police and forensic investigators at Amman Valley school, in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire (Ben Birchall/PA)

“It’s an excellent school, the pupils are such lovely children and I can’t understand why this issue has happened, it’s unbelievable really.”

She added: “It’s a very big concern what the future will hold. The discipline has gone from schools. Times have changed. Things are happening now, a teacher’s job is very dangerous.

“I fear now for these two teachers that have been injured. Times have changed in the last 10 years.

“You looked up to a teacher in my time, you were afraid of a teacher. But I think every school is under danger really when you think about it, you don’t know what’s around the corner.”

Teaching unions described the incident as “horrifying” and “extremely distressing”, adding that their thoughts were with those affected at the school and in the wider community.

Amman Valley School is a bilingual comprehensive school for pupils aged between 11 and 18.

It is maintained by Carmarthenshire County Council and provides education to 1,450 school pupils, in addition to 270 sixth form pupils.