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Aylesford School put into 'lockdown' after bomb hoax call

A school was dramatically plunged into "lockdown" after a bomb scare.

Pupils at Aylesford School were held behind as a precaution after the school had received a phone call just after 2pm on Tuesday saying there was a bomb on site.

It is the latest of a series of hoax emails and phone calls to Kent schools in recent months.

Aylesford School. Picture: Andy Payton (2861795)
Aylesford School. Picture: Andy Payton (2861795)

Witnesses reported seeing pupils "running out of the fire exits", though this was rejected by head teacher Tanya Kelvie, who insisted the children did not know the threat had been made.

Lessons continued as normal and pupils were held back for around five minutes after school ended at 3pm, before police declared the site safe and they were able to leave.

Miss Kelvie said in a statement to parents: "We phoned the emergency services immediately and police attended the school site and on their advice followed lockdown procedures.

"A thorough check of the school and site has been carried out and it is all safe.

"I would like to take the opportunity to say how very proud I am of all staff and pupils who behaved impeccably and showed great character and thank you to the police who acted swiftly.

"I apologise for the inconvenience that keeping students behind will have caused but am sure you will understand that safety is of paramount importance."

The school, on Teapot Lane, was open as normal on Wednesday.

As many as 80 schools were reportedly targeted by another hoax in March after receiving an email from someone threatening to drive into pupils.

Staff at North Borough Primary School in Peel Street and St Paul's Infant School on Hillary Road in Maidstone both told parents to pick their children up on that occasion, citing a safeguarding issue.

A Kent Police spokesman said: "We were called at 2.12pm on Tuesday to a threat made by phone call.

"We attended the scene and carried out a search. Nothing suspicious was found.

"The call is being treated as a hoax and an investigation is ongoing."

Anyone with information should call 01622 604100.

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