Doncaster school reassures parents over fake news story announcing its closure

The fake news story announcing the closure of Outwood Academy.
The fake news story announcing the closure of Outwood Academy.

A Doncaster secondary school has reassured parents and pupils it is not closing after a fake news story announcing its impending shutdown went viral on Facebook.

Dozens of parents shared the spoof story about Adwick's Outwood Academy supposedly closing in February 2018 due to 'lack of staff arriving' and 'poor scores' on recent test results.

The story, on a website called BreakingNews247.net, under a headline which read "Outwood academy (sic) Adwick to be shut down?" read: "The high school Outwood academy adwick is due to be shut down due to lack of teachers arriving and poor scores on their recent test results.

"This is to take affect in February 2018 and all students are to be divided to other secondary schools."

The message, although littered with mistakes, was widely shared and believed by some of those who shared it with one writing on Facebook: "No way am I having my son in another school temporarily."

The link initially led users through to the story but has now been replaced with a message which reads: "It was a bad joke and has been deleted! Prank your friends, nothing to see."

However, the school has moved to reassure parents this morning and a text, seen by the Free Press, reads: "Please be aware that there is a fake news story circulating about Outwood Academy via Facebook.

"It is completely untrue and in fact we have record results in 2017 and no issues with staffing. Should you have any concerns, please contact us via telephone on (01302) 722237."

It is thought the story was created by a pupil as a prank.

The school, which has more than 1,000 pupils, is operated by Outwood Grange Academies Trust and was previously Percy Jackson Grammar School and latterly Adwick School before becoming Outwood Academy in September 2009 and moving into new premises.