The headteacher of St Joseph's Catholic College in Swindon has spoken out after a 14-year-old pupil was violently attacked by a gang carrying weapons while leaving the school.

The assault, which took place on Tuesday, March 12, happened just outside St Joseph's Catholic College at 3.15pm, and was witnessed by children and parents.

A 14-year-old boy was attacked by a group of teens carrying weapons and was hospitalised due to injuries which are serious but not thought to be life-threatening.

Eight people aged between 12 and 18 have now been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent.

Speaking to the Adver, Jerry Giles, the principal of St Joseph's said the incident has deeply shaken staff, parents and pupils at the school.

“The whole school community is shocked and saddened by the attack on our student who was set upon as he made his way home from the College," said Mr Giles.

"School staff acted very quickly and called the police moments after the incident took place.

"Our immediate thoughts and prayers are with the student and his family, and we will continue to do all we can to support them.

"We have also put support in place for any students who witnessed the assault and we would like to thank parents and the members of the public who supported our staff in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

"The Police acted incredibly swiftly and we are now working closely with officers as they investigate the incident.”

Swindon Advertiser: The assault took place just outside St Joseph's Catholic CollegeThe assault took place just outside St Joseph's Catholic College (Image: Google Maps)

Detective Inspector Phillippa Sharpley added: “This attack on one person by a group, some of whom were carrying weapons, is extremely concerning and will not be tolerated.

“For this to have taken place outside a school, as children were leaving with their parents, is sure to have caused a great deal of concern in the community, however this is being dealt with robustly and with the full force of the law.

"Our thoughts are very much with the victim, who required hospital treatment. 

"If you witnessed what took place or are aware of any mobile phone footage of the incident then please contact us as a matter of urgency.”

Anybody who witnessed this attack should contact police immediately by calling 101 and quoting the log number 54240028985.

You can also report information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.