Oldway update: Head confirms bomb hoax

(Last Updated On: May 24, 2016)

Oldway primary school was closed earlier today following what it called a ‘health and safety concern’

The head teacher of the school has now confirmed that it was a bomb hoax, posting on the schools website:

Dear Parents

As you know today Oldway School was closed.

The reason for the closure is that we received a phone call claiming that a bomb had been left on the school site.

Following guidance from the Police, the school was immediately locked-down. The Police arrived at school and we were told that they classed the threat as ‘standard’, meaning that they would not insist on school closure, but would leave the decision with us.

The first priority of any school must be to keep its children safe. For this reason, the decision was taken to close the school and all parents were contacted. We did not mention anything about the threat at this stage in order to avoid un-necessary panic.

Our staff reacted quickly, calmly and professionally. You, our parents, responded quickly, were helpful and understanding.

School will open again tomorrow, as normal.

With over 680 children on site, it takes a long time to contact all parents, so we sent a text in the first instance, followed by contacting parents by telephone if their children had not been collected. We also put a message to parents via Twitter and the school website to reach you as quickly as possible.

Thank you to all of you for your patience and understanding. As a parent myself, I know that should there be a similar threat at my own children’s school, I would want my children removed from any risk, whether real or imagined. I am sure you will be pleased that we put your children’s safety before all else and thank you and our staff again for your excellent, positive attitude and understanding.

I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow morning when school resumes as normal.

Best wishes

Stewart Biddles

The closure follows a number of bomb hoax calls yesterday, which closed schools across the country.

Responding to yesterdays hoax calls, Devon and Cornwall released this statement:

“We are aware that hoax calls have been made to a number of schools across the country today, and have been informed of malicious calls being made to three schools within Devon and Cornwall.

“The first call was to Pinhoe School in Exeter, the second call was received at Devonport High School for Girls in Plymouth, and the third was to Charlestown Primary School, Carlyon Bay, St Austell.

“As per their school policy, Charlestown Primary evacuated pupils for a short while as precautionary searches took place. Pupils and staff at Pinhoe and Devonport were not evacuated.

“Parents have been informed by the relevant schools, and at no time were any staff or pupils in any danger.

“Whilst we are currently of the opinion that these call are without substance, as a precaution, a police presence attended all schools in question and a police presence will remain in these areas to offer reassurance.

“All three are being treated as hoax calls and will be offences under the malicious communications act. We take this extremely seriously, and condemn whoever is responsible.

“Malicious threats such as these divert police resources and cause disruption and alarm to the public and are completely irresponsible.”

If anyone has any information that can help police with their investigations, please contact 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800555 111.


Team account for We Are South Devon.