Fir Vale School governor accused of ‘trying to cover up’ incident after denying ‘riot’ claims

A governor at Fir Vale School has been accused of trying to cover up an incident at the school after he said reports of a ‘riot’ there were over untrue and exaggerated.

Vice-chairman of Governors Richard Edwards said the coverage of the incident at Fir Vale School, on Tuesday, September 25, were ‘over milked.’

Incident at Fir Vale School

Incident at Fir Vale School

He said reports of a riot were untrue and sensational headlines create ‘yet more tension in the school and wider community.’

Mr Edwards, a former Master Cutler, said a disturbance in the school dining room was ‘quickly brought under control’, but news spread by the use of mobile phones and social media, creating panic in the community and lead to a congregation at the school gates.

He said: “Unfortunately when the media find a juicy news story they over milk it and this is the case here.”

READ MORE: Fir Vale School governor denies ‘riot’ reports 

Former Master Cutler Richard Edwards. Picture: Andrew Roe

Former Master Cutler Richard Edwards. Picture: Andrew Roe

He added the community, which has ‘a lot of underlying tensions,’ was being let down by support organisations and the school is working to help build community cohesion.

Many people disagree with Mr Edwards, with some accusing him of trying to cover up what happened.

An experienced pastoral leader at the school said: “I have worked at Fir Vale for many years and think I have seen it all.

“This school is very good and we work very hard.

Police at Fir Vale School. Dave Higgins/PA Wire

Police at Fir Vale School. Dave Higgins/PA Wire

“We are dealing with big problems around Roma and Pakistani families that has got nothing to do with us.

“Richard Edwards speaks likes he knows what’s going on.

“He was not here when it happened and he hasn’t been in to see students or staff since.

“No governors have been in. We have no idea who the governors are.

Police at Fir Vale School. Dave Higgins/PA Wire

Police at Fir Vale School. Dave Higgins/PA Wire

“And who speaks to the The Star about tension in the community but a posh white middle class man - just what Page Hall needs.

“I’d send this email to the governors too, but none of us know their address.”

READ MORE: Sheffield neighbourhood in ‘volatile’ state say angry residents

Reader Cyril Olsen wrote: “What is the prime purpose of a newspaper if not to report news items - especially when they are in the public interest?

Much has been written recently about the school's alleged student riot, weapon carrying and attempted fence scaling by parents.

“These have all been denied by the school governor(s) in spite of eye witness reports to the contrary from parents on the scene.

“What has not been disclosed is the cause of these disturbances. Readers whose attention has been captured by the Star coverage are entitled to query ‘what is it all about’?”

Readers also aired their views on The Star’s Facebook page.

Danny Hyatt wrote: “Think this governor needs to stop trying to save face and look up the definition of riot.

“The footage, both inside the school and outside, speaks volumes. Star got it spot on.”

Debra Jackson said: “Tensions in the community he says?

“So how does he think that that’s not going to spill over in the schools how stupid does he think people are.

“Just go back to David Blunkett’s warnings about the tensions in Page Hall and that was at least five years ago.

“Nothing’s been done and the tensions are far worse now than then.”

READ MORE: Fir Vale School ‘riot’ shows community tensions haven’t gone away five years after Blunkett’s ‘explosion’ warning

Dan Austin wrote: “They may wish to research the definition of a riot, I'm pretty sure the police assessed it as a riot.”

Sam Milne said: “What a load of rubbish ask the parents and a couple of governors - they’ll tell you the truth. I have very good friends work there and work in a school very close by, so we do know what happened.

“He’s trying to cover it up. It’ll happen again mark my words.”

Leah Helliwell said: “They were rioting outside and I’ve seen a video of a mass brawl in the dining room. Who is he kidding?”

Alan Eggenton wrote: Police officers being attacked, adults with weapons. The video proves what it was - a riot.”