The younger brother of the refugee student removed from school over claims he said he was 15 but could be as old as 30 has also been taken out of class, it was revealed today.
The year 7 boy, aged 12, is at home in Ipswich with the 6ft1ins year 9 student who allegedly told a friend at Stoke High School that he was a married father-of-two.
The younger boy is not being investigated by the Home Office because there no dispute that he is a child, MailOnline understands, so is likely to have been removed for his own wellbeing.
But his older brother has been pulled from class as immigration officials investigate if he is an adult.
The row over his place in the school began when a picture was posted online showing him in uniform alongside the caption: ‘How’s there a 30-year-old man in our maths class?’
The younger brother of the refugee student removed from school over claims that he said he was 15 but could be 30 (pictured) has also been taken out of class
The boys at Stoke High in Ipswich, who are believed to be Iranian, are thought to have arrived in the UK via Germany as asylum seekers
Pupils soon found a Facebook profile of the same name, showing a man sporting a thick moustache, chest hair and swigging a bottle of beer.
The asylum seeker, believed to be from Iran, allegedly told others in class he was a 25-year-old, despite the authorities believing that he is only 15.
How young asylum seekers are aged by height, facial hair and voice – but many are ‘given benefit of doubt’
Asylum seekers must be treated as an adult if their physical appearance and demeanour ‘very strongly suggests that they are significantly over 18 years of age’.
Assessments of physical appearance can include indicators of age such as height, build, facial hair and voice pitch.
When assessing demeanour, officials can take into account observations on the individual’s mannerisms, body posture and eye contact.
Instructions state age assessments cannot always provide the same degree of confidence about treating an individual as an adult or a child as can be provided by reliable documents, adding: ‘To allow for this, the principle of ‘the benefit of the doubt’ is applied.’
Earlier this year, a watchdog report revealed some local authorities had raised concerns the ‘benefit of the doubt’ policy was being applied ‘too readily’ in relation to unaccompanied asylum seeking children.
The report, published in March by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, cited data indicating that from the start of July 2016 to the end of June 2017, the Home Office had raised 705 age disputes.
Of the 618 resolved, 402 (65%) claimants were found to be over 18 and 216 (35%) were found to be children.
Age verification processes came under scrutiny in 2016 when teenagers were transferred to the UK from Calais following the closure of the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp.
Controversy erupted when Tory MP David Davies claimed some arrivals ‘don’t look like children to me’.
A spokesman for the school said: ‘This is a matter for the Home Office and we have referred it to them.
‘The student is not attending the school at this time. A student in Year 7 is also not currently attending school.
‘We cannot comment further on individual cases but we have followed Government and local authority policies and guidance, as we do for any admissions matter.
‘We are continuing to liaise with the authorities on this. We have informed parents of the situation and will continue to keep them updated as we receive information.’
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘We do not routinely comment on individual cases.’
Concerns were raised after the student, who is understood to be from Iran, began studying for GCSEs in Ipswich, Suffolk, in September.
Parents complained to the school after a photograph of the pupil was posted online in which they said he appeared much older than his classmates.
Questions about his age were previously raised with teachers by a 15-year-old student who said that he bombarded her with text messages.
The pupil is thought to have previously lived in Germany before travelling to the UK where he was given asylum.
His now-deleted Facebook profile said that he was a former architecture student at the Islamic Azad University in Abadan, Iran, who had lived in Erfurt, Germany.
That was enough for outraged parents to threaten pulling their children from the school, which has 680 pupils, until a full investigation was conducted.
The account has been closed since protests about his attendance heightened last week. Other Facebook accounts that shared the initial picture of the refugee had also disappeared last night.
Others who complained to the school directly said that teachers assured them that the student had appropriate paperwork.
The Ormiston Academies Trust, which runs Stoke High School, last week asked the Home Office to investigate the pupil after parents demanded his withdrawal.
But claims emerged yesterday that the student, who speaks in broken English, has admitted than he is much older than his Year 11 classmates.
One mother, who asked not to be named, said her son approached the pupil and asked if he would like to join in a game of football on the playground.
She said: ‘My son went to talk to him to see if he would like to join in to be told he was too old for it.
‘My son asked him how old he was and he replied that he was aged 25 and married with two kids. Who knows if what he said was the truth?’
The mother said her son only revealed his conversation with the pupil after news of the investigation emerged last week.
She added: ‘My son said he was harmless and actually very nice to talk to. He thought he looked a little older than 16, but thought no more about it.
‘I feel the school could have done more by investigating before allowing him into the school. I also feel a little disgusted about the school not putting the safety of the ‘real’ students first.’
The Year 11 pupil who claims to be aged 15 but looks far older with Facebook posts alleged to show him with a thick beard and sipping beers
The school which is run by the Ormiston Academies Trust wrote to parents about the boy for the first time to confirm that the Home Office was investigating his status
Stoke High School said that the pupil is no longer attending the school, though it is not known whether this in relation to concerns over his age.
The school has not discussed the age of the pupil in detail so his documented age remains unknown.
Pupils at the school began to speculate about the boy’s age only days after the start of the school term in September.
He is said to have joined with a 12-year-old pupil in Year 7, who is said to be his brother.
A 15-year-old girl in Year 11 at the school said that he was reported to the school’s safeguarding team when he began to send messages to a female pupil.
The pupil said: ‘She was a bit concerned about it because he seemed so old and she was smart enough not to tell him.
‘She told the maths teacher and was taken to the safeguarding teacher who looked at the messages and said there was nothing sinister about them.’
Teachers were also said to have been shown pictures of the asylum seeker sporting a beard on Facebook, only to be told that he may have ‘matured’ early.
The girl added: ‘As soon as he started at the school, we all thought he looked far too old. You could see the shadow of his beard on his face.
‘He was wearing glasses – but they did not look prescription. It was almost as if he had them to make himself look younger.
‘Everyone was making jokes as we went into registration, saying, ‘What is a man doing at our school?’
The Ormiston Academies Trust said in a statement: ‘The student is not attending school at this time.
‘We cannot comment further on an individual case, but we have followed Government and local authority policies and guidance.’
Sources at the Home Office confirmed the investigation was being treated ‘seriously’ and appealed for the pupil to be given privacy.