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The teen was last seen getting off a bus near Tower Bridge, London, in his full school uniform on Tuesday morning.
But when failed to show up at Ark Globe Academy in nearby Elephant and Castle, principal Matt Jones alerted police.
He said the Year 8 student “fell into the River Thames” from the iconic bridge, My London reports.
The teacher described it as “distressing news” for the school community, adding that his “hopes and prayers” were with the missing child’s family.
He is named in a letter sent to parents on Wednesday, but the Express is withholding his name as the search goes on.
River police, firefighters, the RNLI and a police helicopter were involved in the search after the boy fell into the water at about 8am on Tuesday. City of London Police is leading the search.
The principal said that “this last year has been a very difficult time for many of our students and their families”. He urged parents to contact the school or NSPCC if their children need help.
“Ark Globe staff are well trained to spot concerning signals from students and they know exactly how to escalate issues if external, professional support is needed,” the letter added.
The letter in full
Mr Jones wrote: “It is with worry that I share news about (the boy’s name), a Year 8 student at Ark Globe Academy.
“On the morning of Tuesday 20 April, (he) did not make his way into school despite travelling on a bus with a friend in full school uniform.
“He got off the bus near Tower Bridge before his usual bus stop nearest to Ark Globe Academy and fell into the River Thames.
“At this moment in time, police are treating this case as a ‘missing persons’ incident.
“This is obviously distressing news for (the boy’s) family, friends and the wider Ark Globe community.
“Our hopes and prayers are with the family at this very difficult time.
“I want to reassure and remind you that everyone working in our academy knows the important role that they play in keeping children safe,
“Ark Globe staff are well trained to spot concerning signals from students and they know exactly how to escalate issues if external, professional support is needed.”
In a statement, Mr Jones told the Mirror on Friday morning: “We can confirm that a student at Ark Globe Academy did not arrive to school on the morning Tuesday 20 April as expected.
“At this moment in time, there is a live police investigation in relation to the young person’s disappearance.
“The police are treating this case as a ‘missing persons’ incident.
“This is obviously distressing news for the young person’s family, friends, and the wider Ark Globe Community.
“As a school community, we are dealing with this sensitively so as not to compromise the integrity of the police investigation and we wish to respect the privacy of the family while the investigation is on-going.
“Our hopes and prayers are with the family at this very difficult time.”
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