Parliament Hill student who helped elderly woman after a fall dodges detention for being two hours late

If a pupil was two hours late for school, they would normally be in trouble with their teacher when they finally rolled up for classes.

But a student at a Parliament Hill school was praised for his late attendance after he revealed that he had waited with an elderly woman who had a fall at a busy railway station until an ambulance arrived.

Alex Marshall-Ducker shared his story in an assembly for Year 9 pupils, aged 13 and 14, at all-boys William Ellis secondary in Highgate Road, Dartmouth Park, as part of a worldwide celebration of Global Dignity Day last week.

Head of religious education and personal development, Bhavin Tailor, who organised the event, said: “His train was delayed and he was already in a mad rush but when an old lady fell and hurt herself he stopped to help her.

“He was late by two hours but, in this instance, we just said ‘oh well’. It was a really moving story and, for me, he demonstrated self-worth and respect.”


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William Ellis and Highgate School, in North Road, Highgate, were two of just a handful of secondary schools in this country taking part in Global Dignity Day.

The event recognised the right to be treated, and to treat others, respectfully.

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Channel Four news reporter Katie Razzall spoke to students in a morning assembly at William Ellis, before pupils took part in workshops run by volunteers to come up with stories relating to the concept of dignity.

At Highgate School, performance poet Francesca Beard recited works to Year 11 students, aged 15 and 16, before they also took part in similar workshops.

Slam poets from arts venue the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm Road, Chalk Farm, also performed at both schools.

More than 100,000 pupils in 50 countries took part in similar events across the world on the same day.

English teacher at Highgate School, Rebecca Hyam, said: “It was a really powerful event and lovely to be part of something that 50 countries were taking part in.

“I think the teenagers found it challenging but it was something they will go back and think about for days. They got an awful lot out of it on the day as well.”

Children’s legal charity Just for Kids Law asked schools across the UK to take part and arranged volunteers from a number of organisations to lead sessions.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “The idea is to get students thinking about how we act in our day-to-day lives.

“Dignity is an important concept in kids’ lives and we are working with young people to get a sense of dignity within themselves to get through difficult times.”

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