Police say 50-year-old Vincent Uzomah, from Leeds, was stabbed during a science lesson just before 9am at Dixons Kings academy. He was taken to hospital but did not suffer internal bleeding and was said to be in a stable condition.
The boy immediately fled after the attack but was arrested in Bradford city centre on Thursday afternoon following a police appeal for information about his whereabouts.
It is understood that Uzomah is a supply teacher who had been with the school for a month.“We have just arrested a 14-year-old male in connection with this offence and he is currently in custody on suspicion of attempted murder,” Det Supt Simon Atkinson of West Yorkshire police told reporters outside the school. The boy was arrested in Bradford city centre, he added, declining to say whether he was found alone or with someone else.
The teacher’s injuries were not life-threatening, and his family were with him in hospital, Atkinson said.
He said: “There were a number of pupils who witnessed this incident, which took place in a classroom, and they are currently liaising with our specially trained officers who are obviously supporting them at this difficult time.
“This is believed to be an isolated incident and the police are continuing inquiries to establish the facts. I would like to reassure residents and staff that all necessary resources are being deployed to investigate this ongoing and clearly serious incident.”
Officers were first called to the school by ambulance crews just before 9am on Thursday after reports of a teacher being attacked.
The school’s executive principal, Nick Weller, said the teacher, a man aged 50, had been stabbed in the stomach. A school statement said the teacher was in a stable condition in hospital, and that the stabbing had not caused internal bleeding.
Outside the school gates one pupil told the BBC he believed the incident had happened in a row over a mobile phone. The unnamed male student said the boy had refused to hand over his mobile phone to the teacher.
The student said the teacher concerned was polite and “never shouted”.
Weller said: “It happened right at the beginning of the school day. A few students witnessed it – in a classroom. Those students have been interviewed by the police.”
Asked if he knew where the teacher had been knifed, he said: “I think in the stomach area. We have a member of staff at the hospital.”
Weller said security measures would be examined. “Obviously we will review everything we do,” he said. “There are some things that happen that you can’t account for, that you can’t anticipate.”
The principal, Neil Miley, explained why the school had decided to remain open. He said: “Because I think it’s important that we make sure there’s consistency for our students, as students need to be safe and secure. And there’s support from staff on site, making sure our students are looked after, and they’ve responded with fantastic maturity.”
Parents arrived at the school following news of the incident but were turned away after being told their children were safe. Parents received a text message from the school saying it would close at the normal time of 3.30pm. An earlier statement had said there was “no ongoing risk” for pupils and staff.
The education secretary, Nicky Morgan, said her thoughts were with the injured teacher, his family and colleagues and pupils at the school. “My officials are currently in touch with the school and keeping me constantly updated on the situation and my department is ready and prepared to offer all necessary support,” she said.