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Safeguarding warning from Norton Knatchbull School in Ashford after pupils step in to help girl being followed by man

A grammar school in Ashford has issued a safety warning after two of its pupils pretended to be another girl's friends when they spotted a man following her.

Norton Knatchbull School on Hythe Road have taken the opportunity to remind their pupils "not to walk home alone in the dark" in a safeguarding message sent out to parents.

The incident reportedly took place on Thursday evening in the town centre.

Norton Knatchbull School sign
Norton Knatchbull School sign

In an email seen by KentOnline, assistant head teacher and safeguarding lead, Richard Hoyte, said: "Yesterday (Thursday December 13), a sixth-form girl from one of the other schools in Ashford was followed and pestered by a stranger in Ashford town centre.

"On this occasion, I am very pleased to report that two Norton Knatchbull sixth-form girls had seen what was going on and had the presence of mind to pretend to be the girl’s friends and get the man to leave her alone.

"This incident happened at 5.30pm so not really that late."

While the sixth formers were praised for their sensible actions, Mr Hoyte added in the email that he did not want the incident to panic others: "Whilst I don’t want to alarm anyone it might be worth highlighting to your sons and daughters the importance of not walking alone in the dark.

"The matter has been reported to the police."

Norton Knatchbull school assistant head teacher Richard Hoyte (6023361)
Norton Knatchbull school assistant head teacher Richard Hoyte (6023361)

It is not known what school the girl who was approached attends.

Kent Police and Norton Knatchbull have both been approached for further comment.

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