Pictures Emerge: An investigation has discovered that a man of around 30 years of age was posing as a 15-year-old student at a high school in Ipswich.
The man has now been removed from the school after he was outed as clearly being too old for school.
The suspicions of those working at the school were piqued by the fact that the ‘student’ stood at over six feet tall and had a full beard. Basically, he didn’t look like he was 15 – largely because he isn’t.
The imposter was studying at Stoke High School in Ipswich, Suffolk, posing as a Year 11 until recently. The Home Office have not confirmed how old he is, but he is certainly over 18 and therefore an adult.
A pupil at the school told the Mirror: “He looks way older than many of the teachers.
“It’s like someone’s dad has come into school.
“He’s got a big beard, while the other boys I know are struggling to grow little moustaches. He’s very tall, around 6ft I’d say.”
“When I heard he was actually 30 years old I immediately told my mum.”
Needless to say, the pupil’s mum complained to the school and the man – who is thought to be an asylum seeker from Iran – was removed from the school.
The pupil’s mother added: “It’s nothing personal about him whatsoever. I feel this is a massive safeguarding issue.”
Now that he has been outed as an adult, the man is being treated as an adult asylum seeker. That means that he could face deportation if his claim is unsuccessful.
In a statement, the Home Office said: “We are fully committed to safeguarding children and are looking into the circumstances of this case to understand how it was handled.
“Age-disputed cases remain a challenging area of work in which no single assessment technique, or combination of techniques, is likely to determine an individual’s age with precision.
“In the absence of clear and credible documentary evidence, Home Office staff must rely on physical appearance and demeanour to make an initial assessment on whether a person claiming to be a child is under 18.
“If an individual is assessed to be under 18, but subsequent concerns about their age are raised – for example by a school – we will act quickly to reconsider the case.”
The man is thought to have begun attending the school after failing to find work. Another boy – thought to be his younger brother – was taken out of his Year 7 class but confirmed to be a child.
The Home Office statement continued: “When there is doubt about an individual’s claim to be a child, the individual will be referred to a local authority’s social services department for a careful, case law-compliant age assessment and they will be treated as a child until a decision on their age is made.
“If an individual is assessed to be over 18, we will process any asylum claim as being made by an adult. If the application is unsuccessful, and appeal rights are exhausted, removal action will be pursued as appropriate.
“In the absence of documentary evidence, Home Office staff are only able to treat a claimant as an adult if their physical appearance and demeanour very strongly suggest that they are significantly over 18 years of age – and where two officers have reached this conclusion independently.
“The threshold is set deliberately high so that only those who are very clearly over 18 are assessed as adults.”
Ormiston Academies Trust released a statement that said: “This is a matter for the Home Office and we have referred it to them.
“The student is not attending school at this time. We followed Government and local authority policies and guidance.”