Doncaster school put in lockdown due to ‘persons known to police’ in vicinity, headteacher reveals

A Doncaster secondary school was put into lockdown this afternoon due to ‘persons known to police’ being present in the vicinity, the headteacher has revealed.

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 8:29 pm

In a statement to parents, Ms Joanne Cater, Principal of Astrea Academy Woodfields, in Weston Road, Balby, said that following advice from the police the decision was made to put the school into ‘lockdown’ which prevented the students from leaving on time.

She added: “This was due to persons known to the Police, not students at this academy being present in the vicinity of the academy. Can I urge you at this time, to talk to your child about the need to follow staff instructions in any situation like this, should it ever occur again.

“I will also take this opportunity to remind you that we do have the right to scan and search students on entry to the school, or at any point during the school day, if we believe them to have banned or illegal items.

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“This is a measure to keep everyone safe.Thank you for your understanding and support.”

South Yorkshire Police said they were called to the academy just after 3pm following reports of a ‘dispute between children’.

A police spokesman said officers were called in to help disperse the crowds that had gathered, following the incident.

The Free Press received reports from parents suggesting that some of those involved in the incident were in possession of a knife.

The SYP spokesman said: “No witnesses reported seeing any weapons, and we have spoken to at least five teachers at the school.”

A parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I was told that a gang of pupils were fighting with knives. My daughter called me crying saying she was scared. I’m annoyed that I found out about it that way.”

Pupils were prevented from leaving school premises while police dealt with the incident, confirmed the spokesman. Officers left the scene at around 4.30pm.

Anyone with information is asked to call SYP, quoting incident number 536 of March 21, 2019.