An “immensely proud” principal said his pupils are protected from drugs by a “steel perimeter” around his school.

Carl Wakefield, the principal of Plume Academy in Fambridge Road, Maldon, has staunchly denied comments from a pupil’s relative two “known drug dealers” currently attend the school.

A letter sent to the Standard by the woman, said: “Whilst I am very pleased that the headteacher of the Plume is impressed with the accomplishments of his pupils, this sadly contradicts what I have heard from two mothers of pupils at the school.

“They have both told me there are known drug dealers in both of their children’s classes. They know the names of these dealers and how they operate, how after school they all meet at a retail park to sell their drugs.”

Mr Wakefield gave assurances that pupils are not dealing drugs on the school site, adding the school is working alongside the police to ensure children are protected inside and out of school.

He said he has placed a “steel perimeter” around the academy.

Mr Wakefield said: “The academy does not have any form of drug-related issue.

“We have a range of measures in place to ensure any potential illegal behaviour is monitored and acted upon should a problem arise.

“Students know the consequences would be severe in the case of any drug-related issue and the police involved with immediate effect.

“In my three and a half years as the principal of Plume Academy, I have not been put in this position by any student.”

Mr Wakefield is a parent of two children at the school himself, who have both started in the last two years.

He said he has “never seen either child happier” and he and his staff are working daily to ensure children of all ages are not affected by issues such as this during their time at school.

Mr Wakefield added: “The academy cares greatly about the local community.

“Our work stretches beyond the academy’s grounds and school hours.

“It’s important to reinforce that should any parent or carer need to alert the academy to any concern, do not hesitate to do so and matters will be investigated and the appropriate action taken.”