School rejects claims staff got drunk with pupils at ‘boozy’ concert

Head teacher at Biddick School Sports College Richard Wilkinson
Head teacher at Biddick School Sports College Richard Wilkinson
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A HEADTEACHER today refuted claims that pupils got drunk with staff at a “boozy party” at school.

A report in a national newspaper claimed teenagers and teachers were drinking together at an event at Biddick Academy.

However, headteacher Richard Wilkinson said the event was a concert to celebrate the Year 11 music students’ time at the school, and they were all there with their families.

The newspaper report centred on a Facebook post from a girl, thought to be at the event, which read: “Can’t believe I’ve just got mortal in school with some of my teachers hahaha.”

It was accompanied by a photograph which allegedly shows the girl holding a bottle of Kronenberg, standing with what appear to be other pupils and a teacher, who also appears to be holding a bottle of beer.

The newspaper reported that one parent had said: “These are GCSE students, so they are aged 15 or 16. I do not think it is appropriate for them to be drinking at school.”

Mr Wilkinson said: “This was an invitation-only musical event by the Year 11s to celebrate their outstanding performances over five years at the school. Parents and grandparents were there.”

He said that after the concert there was a short get-together so families and staff could reminisce about the time the youngsters, who have now left, had been at the school.

He added: “Any alcohol consumed by the 16-year-olds was with parental guidance because their parents were there.”

One parent told the national newspaper: “The adults were offered a drink – either a beer or a glass of wine – but it was one drink and that was it. I was with my husband, and we did not see anybody who was drunk.”

The article also reported a claim that an incident took place at a different event in the Washington school, where a 14-year-old girl was allegedly helped from the stage because she was drunk.

Mr Wilkinson, however, told the Echo: “This did not happen. It was totally unfounded.”

Sunderland City Council said a formal investigation was under way.

Head of commissioning and change management Beverley Scanlon added: “We are aware of the concerns raised, and have worked with the school and the families of the young people at the centre of these anonymous allegations to find out exactly what happened. Any allegations of this type in any school are always taken very seriously, and appropriate action taken wherever necessary once the exact circumstances of any reported incident is established.”