Principal of Sir George Monoux College in Walthamstow moves to reassure parents and students it is safe after axe fight

Principal Paolo Ramella with students during an Open Day at Sir George Monoux College today.

Principal Paolo Ramella with students during an Open Day at Sir George Monoux College today. Buy this photo

First published in Waltham Forest
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

The principal of a college where four students were arrested after an axe was brandished in a fight has moved to reassure parents and students it is a safe environment for learning.

No-one was injured in the fight which led to the arrest of a 19-year-old student on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon at Sir George Monoux College in Chingford Road, Walthamstow, at 11am on Thursday.

Three other 19-year-old men were arrested on suspicion of affray after the fight broke out in the canteen.

Principal Paolo Ramella insisted the college puts the safety of its students first, and praised security guards for their quick reaction to the incident.

He said: “We pride ourselves on the safety of our environment. This was an extraordinary event and one that must never happen again. I condemn it in the strongest possible way.

“I’ve already sent our campus officers a letter of thanks at how swift and professional they were.”

The guards pulled the students apart and managed to seize the weapon, keeping all four in separate rooms in the college under supervision while the police were called.

There are around 2,000 students at the college, which has 24-hour security cameras, metal detectors, regular anti-crime conferences as well as security staff.

But Mr Ramella admitted they have not discovered how the student was able to bypass security to bring an axe in.

He said: “We have a lot of CCTV footage to go through and we will get an answer as to how they got it in. I can guarantee we will get to the bottom of it.

“I don’t think this incident indicates it’s not safe. We put the students at the centre of everything we do and they told us themselves in a survey that they feel safe here.”

He added that the staff will learn from this incident to tighten security.

The police and college are both investigating the matter.

The four men have been bailed until Monday, March 11.

Comments (9)

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10:12am Sat 2 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

But Mr Ramella admitted they have not discovered how the student was able to bypass security to bring an axe in.

How can he reassure people the place is safe if there is an obvious flaw in the system.
But Mr Ramella admitted they have not discovered how the student was able to bypass security to bring an axe in. How can he reassure people the place is safe if there is an obvious flaw in the system. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Sat 2 Feb 13

mdj says...

According to National Rifle Association logic, if all staff at Monoux carried axes, this could not have happened.

If people had been told a generation ago that nowadays security guards and knife searches would be necessary basic kit at A-level and FE colleges, they'd have been stunned: what's changed?
How many of these students basically don't want to be there?
According to National Rifle Association logic, if all staff at Monoux carried axes, this could not have happened. If people had been told a generation ago that nowadays security guards and knife searches would be necessary basic kit at A-level and FE colleges, they'd have been stunned: what's changed? How many of these students basically don't want to be there? mdj
  • Score: 0

8:42pm Sat 2 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

mdj wrote:
According to National Rifle Association logic, if all staff at Monoux carried axes, this could not have happened.

If people had been told a generation ago that nowadays security guards and knife searches would be necessary basic kit at A-level and FE colleges, they'd have been stunned: what's changed?
How many of these students basically don't want to be there?
Very true?

You cannot imagine it,
Sir George Monoux must be spinning in his grave?
[quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: According to National Rifle Association logic, if all staff at Monoux carried axes, this could not have happened. If people had been told a generation ago that nowadays security guards and knife searches would be necessary basic kit at A-level and FE colleges, they'd have been stunned: what's changed? How many of these students basically don't want to be there?[/p][/quote]Very true? You cannot imagine it, Sir George Monoux must be spinning in his grave? Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

8:48am Sun 3 Feb 13

SpursSupporter1 says...

Reassure Parents?????? For goodnes sake an axe was able to be brought into the college and bypass "Metal Detectors" doesnt really reassure parents now does it the alleged security system
Reassure Parents?????? For goodnes sake an axe was able to be brought into the college and bypass "Metal Detectors" doesnt really reassure parents now does it the alleged security system SpursSupporter1
  • Score: 0

9:53am Sun 3 Feb 13

cat-lover says...

I wonder if students pass under the metal detector daily. Or if, as is the case with some secondary schools in Waltham Forest, it is only used a couple of times a term. And even that is done with advance warning to the students.
Monoux would be horrified to hear the way his name is mis-pronounced as "Monocks"
I wonder if students pass under the metal detector daily. Or if, as is the case with some secondary schools in Waltham Forest, it is only used a couple of times a term. And even that is done with advance warning to the students. Monoux would be horrified to hear the way his name is mis-pronounced as "Monocks" cat-lover
  • Score: 0

12:17pm Sun 3 Feb 13

Techno3 says...

Metal detectors and guards. What a sad state that school has decended into.
Metal detectors and guards. What a sad state that school has decended into. Techno3
  • Score: 0

2:55pm Sun 3 Feb 13

G_Whiz says...

Haha - This is Walthamstow, no one is safe!

"Crime rules the streets, who the Hell else?" - Ice. T, Power. 1987

Only the criminals have true liberty!
Haha - This is Walthamstow, no one is safe! "Crime rules the streets, who the Hell else?" - Ice. T, Power. 1987 Only the criminals have true liberty! G_Whiz
  • Score: 0

10:48pm Sun 3 Feb 13

mariaolive says...

"Principal Paolo Ramella insisted the college puts the safety of its students first"

Safety first for the students but not talk about staff, teachers, canteen people, etc., the college is not just done of students you know what an hypocrite don't care about his people.
"Principal Paolo Ramella insisted the college puts the safety of its students first" Safety first for the students but not talk about staff, teachers, canteen people, etc., the college is not just done of students you know what an hypocrite don't care about his people. mariaolive
  • Score: 0

10:29am Mon 4 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

The true reality of Waltham Forest.

If this is what happens in the schools, what happens on the streets?

Police Station Closed, Police lost control, abandoned the people.

Will the Cranberry Tinted Spectacle Wearers please wake up now?
The true reality of Waltham Forest. If this is what happens in the schools, what happens on the streets? Police Station Closed, Police lost control, abandoned the people. Will the Cranberry Tinted Spectacle Wearers please wake up now? Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

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