Students at St Heliers School are getting safety lessons after a man tried to snatch a girl outside the main gate yesterday.

As a police investigation continues to find the man who tried to grab the 11-year-old,
St Heliers School principal Craig McCarthny said teachers would be reminding pupils what to do if they were approached by someone they didn't know.

He was also telling parents to reassure children they were not in danger and encouraged them to keep walking to school.

The brave 11-year-old girl managed to break from of the man and ran inside the school after he tried to snatch her at the school gate yesterday morning.


The little girl is back at school today.

McCarthny said it was important for parents to help keep life as normal for the children, while keeping mindful of safety.

He urged parents to encourage them to keep walking to school.

Child protection consultant Alan McGlade said parents needed to be made aware of the dangers and make it as safe for children where possible.

"It's a good idea for children to walk to school with friends, as opposed to being on their own. They also need to know safe places they could go on their walking routes, like neighbours, friends or local businesses such as libraries, dairies, cafes and so on," said McGlade.

He said younger children needed to be educated about who was picking them up from school and how any changes in arrangements would be communicated to the school and the children themselves,

Discussion around "stranger danger" remained relevant, he said.