Raheem Bailey: Abertillery Learning Community closes after boy lost finger ‘fleeing bullies’

Raheem Bailey had had his finger amputated after he hurt it while trying to get away from bullies. Credit: Media Wales

A school trust will close all its campuses on Monday on "health and safety grounds" after an 11-year-old boy lost his finger after allegedly "fleeing bullies".

Raheem Bailey had had his finger amputated after he hurt it while trying to get away from bullies at Abertillery Learning Community.

Raheem's mother, Shantal Bailey, said Raheem had been facing “racial and physical abuse”, that started when he joined the secondary school in September.

The story has reached international attention with Anthony Joshua, Jadon Sancho and US basketball player Gerald Green voicing support for the youngster.

A GoFundMe page has also raised more than £85,000 in donations.

Raheem underwent six hours of surgery in an attempt to save his finger Credit: Media Wales

The UK government's Education Secretary has described the incident as "sickening".

In a statement issued on Sunday, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council said that all campuses at Abertillery Learning Community would be closed on Monday. The statement read: "Abertillery Learning Community is working with Gwent Police in relation to an ongoing investigation into an alleged assault on the secondary campus.

"All campuses at Abertillery Learning Community will be closed tomorrow on health and safety grounds.

"Learners will access blended learning for Monday, 23rd May. The safety and well-being of learners and staff remains of paramount importance to the Learning Community and the Local Authority at all times."

Gwent Police also issued an update on Saunday, with superintendent Vicki Townsend saying: "Our officers are supporting and liaising closely with the family of the young boy who, when leaving the school grounds following the reported assault, received a serious injury to his hand as a result of it being caught in a fence.

"Since we received this report, on Wednesday 18 May, there has been significant interest and coverage of this.

"I would urge people to think about the impact their social media posts and commentary could have on those affected, as the police investigation continues.

"We’re working closely with the school and officers continue to carry out enquiries in the area.”