College pupils called in to solve principal’s “murder”

ELY College’s Year 9 students dropped everything this week, donning white coats and using an array of professional resources to spend the day investigating the grisly “murder” of the principal.

No body was found at the scene, but blood and other clues, including hair, tyre marks, a strange powdery substance, and a note from the assailant in her office provided just enough for the novice crime scene investigators to build a convincing case.

The investigation culminated a day later, as students used their science lessons to piece together the evidence to identify the criminal.

Ely College’s Forensics Day was the brainchild of science teachers Tanya Batchford and Melanie Ellis who, with the rest of the science team, set the scene, liberally spattering the murdered principal’s office walls and ceiling with fake blood, preparing the investigation rooms, and carefully arranging other clues.

She also called scene of crime officers from Cambridgeshire Constabulary to help with advice and guidance, and was given fingerprint recording strips by Ely police station.

Mrs Batchford explained: “The funding provided by Anglia Ruskin University enabled us to purchase a wide range of professional forensic science resources, including magnetic print powder, lifting strips, casting plaster, and the various materials required for blood spatter analysis, fibres analysis, and chromatography.

“As a result, the students have got a real taste for the methods and practice of forensic science and, I hope, had a great time too. And I’m pleased to report that the Principal is safely back in her office, which was itself carefully cleaned of all the fake blood.”