Lisa Potts

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Lisa Potts GM (married name Webb) is a former nursery teacher noted for saving her school children's lives from a machete attack by a man with severe paranoid schizophrenia on July 8, 1996 at the St Luke's Primary School in Blakenhall, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England. Her arm was almost severed in the attack and four children were injured. Potts, who was 21 years old at the time, also suffered severe cuts to her head, back, and both arms.[1] In 1997, Queen Elizabeth II presented Potts with the George Medal for saving the children's lives despite being injured. [2] Her attacker, Horrett Campbell, was sent indefinitely to a secure mental hospital, and remains there to this day.[3]

Potts suffered severe scarring, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and was awarded £68,000 compensation more than four years after the attack.[4][5] The level of compensation was widely criticised as inadequate, especially compared to high libel payouts around the same time. Potts subsequently worked as a counsellor and in 2001 started a charity, Believe To Achieve, based in schools in Wolverhampton. The charity aims to encourage independence and enhance self-esteem in children.[6]

Potts published her story as an autobiography entitled Behind the Smile in 1998. The foreword was written by Cherie Blair.[7]

Books by Lisa Potts[edit]


  1. ^ BBC - Lisa Potts ten years on
  2. ^ BBC - Nursery nurse honoured for bravery
  3. ^ "Machete man sent to secure mental hospital". The Independent (London). 1997-03-08. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "On this Day 1996: Guilty verdict on school machete attacker". BBC News. 2001-02-06. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  5. ^ "On this Day 1996: Seven slashed in school machete attack". BBC News. 1996-07-08. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  6. ^ "Our Nation's Future:Tackling exclusion head-on". 
  7. ^ Potts, Lisa Behind the Smile: My story by Lisa Potts (1998) Hodder & Stoughton, London ISBN 0-340-72148-0