Student charged with assaulting former Wollongong teacher with garden stake

Bourke High School principal Andrew Ryder was allegedly struck with a wooden garden stake. Photo: NSW Department of Education

Bourke High School principal Andrew Ryder was allegedly struck with a wooden garden stake. Photo: NSW Department of Education

A high school student has been charged with bashing a school principal with a wooden garden stake at a western NSW school.

The 13-year-old boy allegedly lashed out at the principal of Bourke High School, Andrew Ryder, as the pair were standing near the front gate of the school about 1.30pm on Tuesday.

Police allege the boy became aggressive, grabbing the stake and striking the principal several times before staff intervened.

"The principal sustained cuts and bruises to his forearms and back," a NSW Police statement said.

Mr Ryder, formerly a teacher at Airds High School in western Sydney, moved from Wollongong to Bourke in 2013 to take up a rural posting as Bourke High School's deputy principal.

A Department of Education spokesman said the boy was not a Bourke High School student but was trying to seek enrolment at the school.

"The Department of Education commends the principal's response to the escalating behaviour of a young person who had earlier sought enrolment," the spokesman said.

"Staff who sought to defuse the situation and support the principal are also commended."

Police have charged the teen with assaulting a school staff member, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and using an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence.

He was refused bail and is due to appear in a children's court on Wednesday.

At the time, he said he found the students friendly, polite and willing to learn.

He said the main difference between his previous jobs and his job in Bourke was the role of Bourke High School within the community.

"The place of the school in the community is a bit different. The school is the central hub of everything here. All the community agencies can use the school as the central point of contact and it's great to see everyone working together," he said in a news item posted on the Department of Education's website.

"I didn't really know anything about Bourke before I came here but I have found it to be a lovely town, it's a great place to live."

Mr Ryder is being supported by the Department of Education.

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