A refugee school student under investigation by the Home Office over claims he lied about his age told a fellow pupil he was a married father-of-two, it has been alleged. The asylum seeker reportedly told the pupil he was 25, despite the authorities believing that he is only 15.
Concerns were raised after the student, understood to be from Iran, began studying for GCSEs at Stoke High School in Ipswich, Suffolk. He is thought to have travelled from Germany to the UK where he was given asylum.
Pupils began speculating about his age soon after he joined classes in September and one 15-year-old girl at the school told teachers that he had bombarded her with text messages. The 15-year-old girl was said to be worried by the messages because she was convinced the boy, who claimed to be the same age, was far older.Staff told the year 11 pupil that the girl did not welcome his attention.
A girl at the school said: ‘Everyone was making jokes as we went into registration, saying, “What is a man doing at our school?” He started FaceTiming my friend, sending her messages, asking how close she lived to the school. She was a bit concerned because he seemed so old. He kept messaging her during the night, and in the morning he texted her saying, “Hello, how are you?” She told the maths teacher and was taken to the safeguarding teacher who looked at the messages and said there was nothing sinister about them.’
Outraged parents threatened to remove their children from the school, which has 680 pupils, until a full investigation was conducted. Some who complained to the school say they were told the student had the appropriate paperwork. But claims emerged yesterday that the pupil, who speaks in broken English, has admitted he is much older than his Year 11 classmates.
The school said the pupil is no longer attending classes.
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