School and YOT criticised for not sharing information

The school and youth offending team attended by a 15-year-old
boy who went on to kill his 14-year-old classmate failed to share
information about his self-harming and “aggressive”
behaviour, a serious case review has found, writes
Maria Ahmed.

Alan Pennell, now 16, was jailed for life after stabbing Luke
Walmsley as he emerged from a classroom at Birkbeck School,
Lincolnshire, in March 2003.

In its review published last week, Lincolnshire area child
protection committee found that Pennell had been harming himself
with “sharp instruments” in the run-up to the killing
but was not seen by a school nurse.

The review said: “If the self-harming had been brought to
the attention of the school nurse, she could have managed the case
by offering appropriate support and advice.”

It also found that a youth offending team which saw Pennell
after he assaulted a pupil in 2003 was aware of his self-harming,
but failed to refer him to a health worker.

The YOT was also rapped for a “regrettable” failure
to liaise with the school.

Lincolnshire ACPC concluded that the incident could not have
been prevented.


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