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Report of “suspicious man” sparked lockdown at a Norfolk school

PUBLISHED: 11:50 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:14 18 March 2019

Rumours circulated on social media that there was a man with a gun. Picture: Contributed by  Jason Silom

Rumours circulated on social media that there was a man with a gun. Picture: Contributed by Jason Silom

Archant

A report of a “suspicious man” that later turned out to be a false alarm sparked panic at a Gorleston school, with rooms going into lockdown, armed police dispatched to the scene and anxious parents gathering at the gates.

A report of a “suspicious man” that later turned out to be a false alarm sparked panic at a Gorleston school, with rooms going into lockdown, armed police dispatched to the scene and anxious parents gathering at the gates.

Norfolk police had been called to Cliff Park Ormiston Academy just before 11am on Friday (March 15) following reports of a “suspicious male at the school”.

While staff and students remained in their classrooms, with some in tears calling their parents, rumours circulated on social media that there was a man with a gun.

However, enquiries by officers attending the school identified the male as a student and no weapons were found.

The lockdown was lifted after 12pm and students were sent home an hour later.

A letter addressed to parents from the principal, Tamsin Poulter, stated that the school had gone into lockdown “due to a report there was an unidentified person being on the academy grounds”.

“This was a false alarm,” the letter said. “This is a precaution we will always take in such matters and please can I reassure you that police arrived immediately after we called them, that all pupils and staff were safe at all times.

“Following this, I have made the decision to send all students home today from 1pm in order that they can be with their families,” Ms Poulter wrote.

Other schools in the area had also gone into lockdown as a precaution.

Cliff Park Junior Academy shut its doors and Corton Primary School in nearby Lowestoft tweeted that it also went into lock-down as a precaution.

Cliff Park Ormiston Academyis a co-ed school.

It was put into special measures in 2012 following an unsatisfactory Ofsted report and exited special measures in 2013.

Police were called at 11am to Cliff Park Ormiston Academy to reports of a suspicious male at the school. Picture: Contributed by Jason SilomPolice were called at 11am to Cliff Park Ormiston Academy to reports of a suspicious male at the school. Picture: Contributed by Jason Silom

The most recent inspection in September 2016 graded the school as “good”.

The school was contacted for comment but unavailable.

The report of a “suspicious man” that later turned out to be a false alarm. Picture: Contributed by Jason SilomThe report of a “suspicious man” that later turned out to be a false alarm. Picture: Contributed by Jason Silom

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