Parents fume at school who allowed bearded, beer drinking asylum seeker to pose as 15-year-old
PARENTS have demanded “heads need to roll” at a school that allowed an adult asylum seeker to enrol as a 15-year-old pupil.
The man – who it’s claimed is from the Middle East – was exposed as an adult after classmates accused him of being a 30-year-old man.
Parents have demanded ‘heads must roll’ over an asylum seeker posing as a 15-year-old school pupil
He spent six-weeks pretending to be a year 11 student before being suspended and threatened with deportation.
A mum of a child at the school said yesterday: “It was obvious he was a man.
“The question is, how didn’t the Home Office or the teachers see what was blindingly obvious to everyone else?
“Heads need to roll and us parents won’t rest until we get a full explanation of what went wrong. It’s a massive safeguarding issue to have a man, whose background is not known, in a class full of youngsters.
New pics claims to show the man-child drinking beer in the streetEast Anglia News Service
'THEY HAVE FAILED TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN': Parent and MP hit out at school and government
Van driver Desmond Newby, 51, whose daughters Jamie, 15, and Alicia, 13, attend Stoke High School said he and other parents had not been given any new information about the pupil by the school.
He welcomed news that the pupil had been identified as a male, saying: “All I wanted in the first place was for him to be removed and he has been.
“My thoughts are that I’m ashamed both for the school and the Government for allowing this to happen. They have both failed to protect our children.”
Mr Newby kept his daughters away from the school after finding out about the pupil and only let them return when he was certain the man was not going back.
Sandy Martin, the Labour MP for Ipswich, said the Home Office “need to get their act together” to ensure adults cannot pose as children in the classroom.
He said: “The Home Office needs to make sure that they are not sending people who are overage to school.
“They have the means to do this and they need to do it. It doesn’t help the young people involved any more than it helps the schools.
“I think the fact that it has had such a high profile in the news has made sure that the Home Office will do their job a bit better in the future, although the history of the Home Office doing its job a bit better isn’t very encouraging.”
“He had chest hair and the body of a man. It beggars belief that it was ever allowed to happen.”
An investigation was launched when a pupil posted a picture of their new classmate in uniform in a classroom on Snapchat with a message saying: “How’s there a 30-year-old man in our maths class?”
Parents were shocked, and some even removed their children from the school as classmates shared old pictures of him on Facebook, showing him with a full beard, a hairy chest and swigging a beer.
Sources confirmed that the 6ft 1in tall pupil who spoke poor English was assessed as being aged over 18 in an investigation ordered by the Home Office.
East Anglia News Service The imposter, thought to be Iranian Siavash Shahs, was exposed after spending six weeks in GCSE classes at Stoke High School, Ipswich[/caption]
SWNS:South West News Service The pupil claimed to be a 15-year-old boy and spent six weeks as a Year 11 pupil at Stoke High School in Ipswich, Suffolk[/caption]
While the Home Office has refused to reveal the newly-assessed age of the man – or any details of his background due to data protection issues – it is now understood that he is being treated as an adult asylum seeker.
He could now face being thrown out of the UK if his claim for asylum is denied.
A further probe into how he managed to pass as a student is being carried out.
SWNS:South West News Service Parents have said that they were concerned an adult man could have been allowed into classroom with their children[/caption]
The stepfather of a girl in the same class as the pupil said he had gone to the school to complain before the man was removed and had contacted Suffolk Police to make a complaint that a grown man was “posing as a pupil” in her class.
He said: “They logged my call and advised me to go back to the school and demand what action they were going to take.
“I ended up speaking to this teacher who said that the Facebook picture of the boy was a case of mistaken identity.
“The teacher actually threatened that all the parents who were jumping on the bandwagon could face legal action because complaining about the pupil was a criminal offence. He was basically calling all the parents bullies.
Heads need to roll and us parents won’t rest until we get a full explanation of what went wrong
Mum of Stoke High School pupil
“I explained that I was sorry if the pupil turned out to be a genuine 15-year-old, but that parents had a responsibility for the safeguarding of children in their care, as should the school.
“The teacher told me that he had children himself and all the paperwork and been looked at for this person and had been passed by the Home Office. I was absolutely livid and was trying to behave myself.
“He was so ignorant and not really listening to what I was saying. I wanted to kick him up the backside and tell him not to be so naïve. My last words to him were, “You have not heard the last about this”.
GOTCHA: How pupils at Stoke High School turned detective to 'expose' adult classmate
The man started at Stoke High School which is run by the Ormiston Academies Trust soon after the start of term in September.
Pupils became suspicious when they saw that the clean shaven pupil appeared to have the shadow of a beard on his face.
They then discovered the Facebook profile in his name which described him as having been an architecture student at the Islamic Azad University in Abadan, Iran, before living in Erfurt, Germany.
The pictures on the now deleted profile showed him with a beard and drinking a bottle of beer on a street, and also included an image of another 12-year-old boy
It was also claimed that the pupil bombarded a 15-year-old girl classmate with text messages, prompting her to complain to safeguarding staff – because she was worried about his true age.
But the girl was told that there was nothing “sinister” about the texts as they were not of a sexual nature. When shown the alleged Facebook picture of the pupil with a beard, the teacher allegedly said that people matured at different ages. She stopped receiving messages from him after she complained.
A mother of another pupil said the man had told her son that he was aged 25 and was married with two children when he was asked if he wanted to join in a game of football at break time.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “When there is doubt about an individual’s claim to be a child, the individual will be referred to a local authority’s social services department for a careful, case law-compliant age assessment and they will be treated as a child until a decision on their age is made.
“If an individual is assessed to be over 18, we will process any asylum claim as being made by an adult. If the application is unsuccessful, and appeal rights are exhausted, removal action will be pursued as appropriate.
“In the absence of documentary evidence, Home Office staff are only able to treat a claimant as an adult if their physical appearance and demeanour very strongly suggest that they are significantly over 18 years of age – and where two officers have reached this conclusion independently.
“The threshold is set deliberately high so that only those who are very clearly over 18 are assessed as adults.”
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The pupil was removed from the school earlier this month on the day he was due to sit a mock GCSE maths exam and has not been seen there since.
The Ormiston Academies Trust confirmed at the time that the pupils were “not attending the school” and that it had asked the Home Office to investigate the case.
The school has not made any new statement and Suffolk County Council has also not responded to requests for comment.
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