She said: “We have been made aware by the police that there has been a serious incident involving one of our Year 11 students on their way to school. Students in school are safe, and we are managing the situation in constant close communication with the police. Students are to remain in school, and will be kept safe in liaison with police.”
Police described the incident as “isolated” and said there was no threat to the wider community.
Rob Jones, the Assistant Chief Constable of Suffolk Police, sought to reassure locals but refused to discuss the possible motive behind the shooting.
He said: “Our immediate thoughts at this time are with the victim of this horrific incident and his family, who we are providing full support to.
“I understand this attack will have caused a great deal of alarm and distress to the people of Kesgrave and the surrounding area, but we are now satisfied that this was an isolated incident and there is no wider threat to the local community.
“Our priority is to keep everyone safe, and I would like to stress that crimes such as this are extremely rare in Suffolk. This is an area with a number of schools nearby and, going forward, parents should not be concerned about dropping off or collecting their children.
“However, there will be additional officers on patrol in Kesgrave to provide reassurance, and I would encourage anyone with any concerns or information to speak to them.
“Finally, I once again urge anyone with information about this incident to contact us without delay.”
Speaking in the House of Commons, Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, said: “I think we’re all shocked and saddened to learn about the incident in which a young person was seriously hurt on their way to school in Suffolk.
“Our thoughts are very much with the young person, their family and the whole school community at this very difficult time.”
Parents waiting to collect their children at 3pm described their terror at hearing what had happened.
One mother, picking up her 13-year-old-daughter, said: “It was worrying enough with them going back on the first day, but then we heard about the shooting.
“We all got an email from the school and were reassured that no one was in danger, but it is still worrying and I just want my daughter home with me.”
Another parent added: “This sort of thing doesn’t happen round here. Kesgrave is a very nice area and it is unheard of for there to be a shooting. We were reassured that it was an isolated incident.”