THE headteacher at Penair School in Truro has written to all parents and guardians of children at Penair College following a 'very serious incident' at the school on Monday afternoon which he said he had never experienced before in 20 years of teaching.

James Davidson said in the letter he recognised parents’ rights and needs for timely and accurate information about student safety as facts can often become distorted in conversations that take place,

He said a very serious incident occurred involving a student.

"The student was taken to a secure area of school by members of staff where they were detained," he said in the letter.

"Owing to the nature of the incident it was necessary for us to inform the police who supported us fully in this matter. The student was removed from the school site by police and in accordance with our school sanctions procedure has been suspended from school pending further investigation.

"As with all matters of student safety, we have taken this very seriously and have acted accordingly, utilising both school system disciplinary recourse and liaising with the police. At all times during the incident our first priority was, and always is, to keep children and staff safe."

He added: “In nearly 20 years of working in education I have never experienced an incident like this and hope to never again”.

In the letter he also said: "The school is committed to the safety and education of all its students. We also want to communicate with parents about safety issues when they arise. Due to legal proceedings we are unable to release any further details regarding this unprecedented incident."

* A 13-year-old girl has appeared at Truro Magistrates' Court court charged with committing knife-related offences at a school.

The girl, who cannot be named due to her age, is charged with possession of an offensive weapon on school grounds, making threats to kill, assault and causing criminal damage.