Anxious refugee seeks help from Wilmslow High School


A young Iranian man who was in need of help approached Wilmslow High School in the early hours of Wednesday, 9th September and was handed into the care of the police.

In a letter to parents and carers, Headteacher James Pullé wrote "The realities of the current migrant situation in Europe arrived at Wilmslow High School yesterday, when at 6.30am an anxious and extremely cold young man passing the school on the public footpath between the A34 and Holly Road approached our site manager to request help in calling for assistance from the police.

"In order to do this, and maintain the security of the school buildings, the young man was accommodated in the office of Ms Powley, our Deputy Headteacher, and remained accompanied by two members of staff at all times.

"Cheshire Police responded promptly, and were able to establish, through the assistance of a telephone translation service, that the young man was a Kurd speaker of Iranian origin.

"The young man left the school site under the care of the Police before 8am and was grateful for the shelter, support and refreshment we had been able to give him. Throughout his time with us he was polite, quiet and gentle."

Dr Pullé added "Since form tutors had already been provided with a PowerPoint presentation about the current migrant situation to discuss with students during the morning registration periods this week, this event will no doubt have sharpened the sense of relevance to all our own lives."

Wilmslow High School


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Friday 11th September 2015 at 8:32 am
I'm glad that the school was able to offer some temporary assisance, but it it raises a whole host of questions. I see the school is being proactive in teaching the students about the current situation, but I wonder whether they have run this past parents before transmitting their views to students - because the situation is complex, emotive and not easily reduced, with factual accuracy to a powerpoint demonstration.
Ryan Dance
Friday 11th September 2015 at 1:54 pm
Jackie - schools educate our children on a host of subjects. They create an environment for learning, interpretation, debate and discussion.

To suggest that parents should vet the schools view on the migration crisis is bonkers.

If parents wish to portray their view of the crisis to their own children (I have two) than get on with it ......we already have too much interference in our schooling system.
Friday 11th September 2015 at 3:06 pm
Ryan, speaking as a former Assistant Head of a large comprehensive and Ofsted inspector I find your faith in the impartiality of the system as touching as it is delusional. As a teacher of history I find your belief that the current situation can be fairly assessed at this point in time, and in the form of a powerpoint presentation, naive. In the circumstances, the gulf between our perceptions is too wide to be bridged by this kind of exchange.
Simon Worthington
Friday 11th September 2015 at 3:24 pm
Key word Ryan - educate. I think Jackie is correct to raise the possibilty of the notoriously leftish teaching profession spouting their "views". Schools are the last place that should have a "view" on the migration crisis. Nice to hear you are happy with all that is taught and think we have too much interference in our failing education system.
Ryan Dance
Friday 11th September 2015 at 3:43 pm
Great to hear your comments Jackie. You clearly have a wealth of knowledge in this area... it does little to influence or change my opinion.

Simon - most people have a view on most things. So i dont really get your point.... whether im happy or unhappy with what is taught is irrelevant.

Parents are equally responsible for educating their children (no doubts biased and or indoctrinated by their view of the world). If you are that worried about our failing education system. Home school your child!
Jack Pink
Friday 11th September 2015 at 7:51 pm
This sounds fantastic and the school should be commended. I hope Cheshire East is going to make an allowance for these poor people in their emerging local plan. Given that most of the area's housing need is going to be accommodated in the south of the borough, Wilmslow and the other northern towns should accommodate for the needs of these people who will be desperate for somewhere stable to settle. If that's not good use of the Green Belt, I don't know what is
Mark Russell
Friday 11th September 2015 at 9:03 pm
Jack, am I right in reading that you think our protected green belt land should be given up to foreigners to build on? Amazing!
Chris Jones
Saturday 12th September 2015 at 6:27 am
Great idea Jack, they can be right at the back of the queue for a free house. Behind all the hard working british that can't afford one.
Jack Pink
Saturday 12th September 2015 at 7:23 pm
The situation these people are fleeing is clearly enough to amount to very special circumstances. As the residents of wilmslow don't want housing for their own, perhaps they will be more welcoming of refugees living in the precious green belt
Mark Russell
Saturday 12th September 2015 at 9:43 pm
Jack, you need to google the definition of green belt. You really are barking up the wrong tree on this page. (Pun intended)
Ryan Dance
Monday 14th September 2015 at 8:19 am
Mark, 1950's policy being applied 60 years later. Logic will indicate we need a rethink.

Google it if you struggle to comprehend the problem
Barbara Briggs
Wednesday 16th September 2015 at 1:35 pm
The sign over the school entrance says "WELCOME" (see picture above).
He was a human being in need of help.
He received help.

Those are the important points, and not just for students.
Carol Chadwick
Thursday 17th September 2015 at 4:50 am
One wonders how on earth he tipped up in Wilmsow. It's not the first point of call when coming from Iran.
Jon Williams
Thursday 17th September 2015 at 11:39 am
Last week a school in Exeter let some Syrians in, now there's a T B outbreak, no refugee should be allowed near the school !
Alan Brough
Thursday 17th September 2015 at 1:42 pm

Could you identify the source of your information?

I read that two pupils at Teign School in Devon were found to have contracted TB and 200 other pupils were screened as a precaution, but nowhere have I read anything to suggest that this was as a result of contact with infected migrants.

Furthermore the Head Teacher at the school suggested that the original infection ocurred in school year 2013/14 and so it conflicts with your suggestion that "Last week a school in Devon let some Syrians in...."
Jon Williams
Thursday 17th September 2015 at 2:07 pm
When it was is not important, but we can't allow it to happen in this area
Mark Russell
Thursday 17th September 2015 at 8:09 pm
Good point Carol, these are economic migrants NOT refugees. I doubt very much they are flying direct here from iran, iraq et al, so they should seek refugee status at first point of safety instead of running all over europe in an effort to get to England where upon arrival our tax pounds pay for their well fair when in fact we can not afford to look after our own at the moment. And before anybody jumps on the band waggon, I'm not being racist, let's get our own affairs straight, get our housing crisis right then look at helping others out.
Oliver Romain
Thursday 17th September 2015 at 10:33 pm
Well done to Wilmslow High. Nimbies and rumour mongers hang your heads in shame.
Helen Troup
Wednesday 23rd September 2015 at 1:08 pm
Jackie how exactly how would you expect the school to "run this past parents" before talking to the children, especially in circumstances where no doubt rumours would have been circulating wildly? WHS has more than 2000 pupils and no doubt the views of the parents would cover the whole range of possible views, as shown on these pages. What were they supposed to do, run a consultation exercise and do a presentation to the children after half term?

The school must have been right to speak to the students about what had happended promptly and seem to have dealt with the incident very sensitively. What is more the school did contact parents by email very quickly so if you wanted to put your own "spin" on what your children had been told, you could.