Eight arrests as police called after school fight breaks out

EIGHT pupils were arrested after police were called to a Sheffield academy following reports of an alleged disturbance at the campus.

The students were arrested on suspicion of public order offences at Sheffield Park Academy on the Manor.

A police spokeswoman said inquiries were ongoing into the incidents on Friday afternoon.

One parent claimed that a pupil had been punched in the face with a knucklerduster in a fight with six other students and had to be taken to hospital for treatment.

The police spokesman said that officers stayed at the academy for the remainder of the day to provide a visible presence and provide reassurance to school staff, pupils and parents.

Their presence would also continue into this week to maintain calm, she said.

Park Academy remains on Ofsted's failing blacklist and a recent visit said a previous improving trend in behaviour had not been maintained.

Inspectors said they had observed more frequent instances of unsatisfactory behaviour, including inappropriate language - showing disrespect for fellow students and adults.

Most of the comments were made in English but some were made in the Asian languages spoken by some of the students.

Last week's school performance tables revealed Park Academy, in Beaumont Close, had one of the worst records for unauthorised absence in the country - although its GCSE results showed improvement.

The academy also hit the headlines almost two years ago during a week of allegedly racially-charged trouble which saw two Asian teenagers injured and resulted in a heavy police presence in the area.

Park Academy was formerly Waltheof School and became and academy in 2006.

A spokesman for academy sponsor the United Learning Trust, which runs the academy, said: "An incident took place at Sheffield Park Academy on Friday afternoon following which eight students have been seen by police.

"The academy is working closely with the police in support of their investigations, whilst also undertaking its own inquiry into the incident, with a view to taking immediate and direct action against those involved.

"The incident appears to stem from ongoing community related issues, involving a small minority of individuals. The academy would like to make it clear to all concerned that it does not and will not tolerate this kind of behaviour, which will be swiftly addressed.

"It would also like to thank the vast majority of students and their parents who support the academy in this stance."

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