Asylum seeker schoolboy reported to Home Office amid claims he is 30
A child migrant row has erupted over claims a “30-year-old man” is being taught in a secondary school alongside children.Photographs which claim to be of the pupil with facial stubble have been posted on social media, prompting some parents to threaten to remove their children from the Suffolk school unless his “real” age is established.The Year 11 pupil, said to be 15 and originally from Iran, started at Stoke High School, Ipswich, in September having arrived in the UK unaccompanied earlier this year. A school pupil posted a picture on Snapchat of his new GCSE classmate asking: “How’s there a 30-year-old man in our maths class?”After parents expressed concern that an adult could be mixing with the academy’s 680-pupils the school contacted the Home Office. A Home Office source said it was investigating the claims.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––One mother, whose son is in the same year as the migrant student, said: “Parents have been pulling their children out of school left, right and centre.“Looking at photos of this man, he is clearly older than 30. How can someone like this be eating with children, changing with children and learning with our children while pretending to be a teenager?“He could be harmless but he could also be a dangerous man. I am terrified to think what would happen if he started a relationship with a young girl who thought he was her age.” Other parents speculated that he may have qualifications from his home country which are not recognised in the UK, so he is trying to obtain GCSEs.Another mother wrote on Facebook that if the pupil was an adult in class it represented a serious “security breach.”Lee Northcott added: “I am shocked and outraged that this has happened when my son and nephew attends this school.“They need to get to the bottom of this and get it resolved as soon as possible.”A school spokesman said: “This is a matter for the Home Office and we have referred it to them. The student is not attending the school at this time. At the time, Mr Davies said he feared “British hospitality” was being abused by those pretending to be younger than they were.The Home Office said it used a “number of determining factors” to establish a asylum seeker’s real age, including their “physical appearance or demeanour.” She said her son believes the pupil speaks little English and struggles to make himself understood with his teachers.“He sits in the class but cannot speak or learn,” she continued. “What makes it worse is that the school has made no contact with any of the parents or called us in for a meeting, yet we are all up in arms and worried.“Something needs to be done and soon because this is likely to be happening all over the country and the Home Office is doing very little to help. I won’t have my son studying with a 30-year-old man.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “We can not comment further on an individual case, but we have followed Government and local authority policies and guidance, as we do for any admissions matter.”As an asylum seeker arriving in the UK he would have been asked to provide proof of age. However, many migrants have no official documentation so immigration authorities ask social services to conduct an “age assessment”, designed to spot those posing as children in the hope of being allowed to stay in Britain. If under 18, the migrant would be taken into care by the authorities and enter the education system.It is understood the Ipswich pupil arrived without a passport, or any other proof of age, so would have been assessed by immigration officials or social workers. A Home Office spokesman said the department does not “routinely comment on individual cases,” adding that if immigration officials had doubts about a migrant’s age social services would conduct an age assessment.In 2016, David Davies, the Conservative MP for Monmouthshire, called for dental tests to be carried out on asylum seekers arriving in Britain from Calais after photographs appeared to show adults arriving.The Home Office had allowed around 100 immigrants from the so-called Calais Jungle to move to the UK if they were aged between 14 and 17.