THE chairman of governors at a Cwmcarn High School has praised staff, pupils and parents following the arrest of two schoolgirls on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Gary Thomas said he supported the letter released by head teacher Jacqui Peplinski and said all had responded “swiftly” to the situation.

The two girls, a 15-year-old from Newbridge, and a 14-year-old from Risca were arrested after after threats were allegedly made against a maths teacher – Alison Cray, 46, – on Thursday morning. The 15-year-old was also arrested on suspicion of possessing a bladed article and making a threat to kill. The pair have been bailed.

No confrontation is said to have taken place but concerns were raised about behaviour and a knife was discovered while searching a bag.

Mr Thomas said: “We are delighted with the way in which everyone responded ‘swiftly’. There are clear measures, policies and protocols in place to ensure that everyone is safe and everyone knows how to report any concerns.

“I am very proud of the school and particularly the way in which the pupils are educated to be responsible and report any concerns immediately; we are educating our pupils to be responsible citizens. There is mutual trust and respect between the learners ensuring that everyone is safe and happy in our successful school.

Everyone benefits from the high expectations and the calm and measured approach of the exceptional staff. The school is a true community school in which everyone works together to create a harmonious environment. We also had the support and guidance of Caerphilly council and Gwent Police throughout the day.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the parents for the supportive and positive phone calls that we received yesterday. It is so rewarding to know that the parents have confidence in us.”

The alleged murder plot comes less than a week after Ann Maguire, 61, died following a classroom attack at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds.

Ms Cray, who is understood to have been the target, has told reporters: ‘It was all handled before it got to me’.

She also said she knew ‘very little’ about it and ‘wasn’t directly involved’.

She added: “I’ve very lucky that I’m at Cwmcarn and that they have handled it so well. I’ve been working as normal and I’m fine.”

A statement from the school said ‘there was no risk to any staff or learner’ before police were called.