POLICE were called to a primary school after an 11-year-old boy threatened to “shank” fellow pupils after bringing a penknife into school.

The boy claimed to have “wiped blood off this knife” already before pointing it at pupils at Montgomerie Primary School, Rushbottom Lane, Benfleet on Monday.

A concerned parent said: “My child is terrified at having to see this kid again. It’s terrible. He could have plunged that knife into someone.

“We were e-mailed by the school to say an incident had happened but were not given any further information. I had to hear it from my child after school.”

Another said: “I will not hesitate to take my child out of the school if this boy is allowed back into school.

“I’m not happy that he hasn’t been permanently excluded. We have to know this won’t be tolerated.

“What sort of example does that give to the children who will think they can do the same and get away with it.

“I had to hear about the knife through my child, who wasn’t threatened but saw the knife and was scared.

“I think the school should have at least called the parents whose children were in the class, as soon as they were aware of the incident, and then sent an e-mail to the rest of the parents.

“I don’t think any child should be put at risk - this is quite a dangerous situation and the school will be breaching its duty of care if this happens again after letting this boy back to school.”

A spokesman for the school confirmed pupils had been threatened with “an implement” which was removed by police and nobody was hurt.

The spokesman said: “Such actions will not be tolerated by any pupil.

"The child has been given the harshest sanctions the school can invoke.

“We can assure parents and carers that our safeguarding procedures were followed at all times and the safety of pupils and staff remains of utmost importance.”

Headteacher Diana Mason added: “Incidents such as this are extremely rare and I would like to reassure the community that the school remains a safe learning environment with the safety of our pupils at the heart of all that we do.”

Other parents praised the school. One said: “I feel the school handled the situation in the best possible way.

"My child was directly involved in this incident and is absolutely fine.” Another added: “My son who was in the class, and was approached by the lad in question, has said it was no way done in malice. The school has showed nothing but support.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were called with reports a child had taken a penknife into school in Benfleet and made threats to two children.

"We have spoken to the parties involved and enquiries are ongoing. The knife has been seized.”