King Solomon High School head rolls out Operation Tinkerbell

PUBLISHED: 12:57 03 February 2015 | UPDATED: 09:07 04 February 2015

King Solomon High School.

King Solomon High School.


A forward-thinking headteacher has introduced a security policy – called Operation Tinkerbell – at his school in case of an attack.

Dr Paul Doherty, King Solomon High School.Dr Paul Doherty, King Solomon High School.

King Solomon High School, a voluntary aided comprehensive in Forest Road, Barkingside, implemented the measure with the help of the Community Security Trust (CST) – a Jewish-led company which helps hundreds of synagogues, schools and organisations across the country.

Police, though, have reported no increased threat to the Jewish community in the borough, despite fears anti-Semitism across Europe is on the rise.

King Solomon’s acting headteacher, Dr Paul Doherty, made the call for Operation Tinkerbell before the attacks on a Kosher supermarket in Paris last month.

“I think King Solomon is a peaceful place,” he said. “I thought it was appropriate to have a system in place.

“It is important to be prepared for any eventuality.”

Dr Doherty is reluctant to reveal too many details about the policy.

He confirmed a loudspeaker system had been set up, staff had received added security training and pupils were expected to help maintain classroom safety.

The school has completed a full run-through of Operation Tinkerbell, which Dr Doherty said “was very affective”.

He added the policy was not just in the event of a terrorist attack, but any kind of intruder.

“This is not the first time I have introduced these kinds of measures,” said Dr Doherty, also a headteacher at Trinity Catholic High School.

“Where there were the IRA attacks in London we had a couple of incidents at Trinity, and as a society it is something we have to live with.

“We do not want it to dominate our lives, but we must respond [to heightened tension] accordingly.”

Dr Doherty likened his decision to enjoying a holiday on cruise ship.

“While going on cruise ship is a pleasant experience, you still need to go through a fire drill for your own safety,” he added.

Dr Doherty said he chose the name, Operation Tinkerbell: “I thought it was something light-hearted rather than sombre.”

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