An Ipswich high school has been praised for its handling of a hoax threat which forced it to shut for the day.

Ipswich Borough Councillor Tony Blacker said Stoke High School Ormiston Academy “did the best they could” with their response to the threat and said those who sent the message should be prosecuted for the disruption it caused. 

Police were called at 7.20am on Thursday after reports of malicious communications were sent to the school in Maidenhall Approach and was treated as a "direct threat".

An email was sent out by the school informing parents it would be closed.

The email said: "We treat every situation with the utmost caution, and are following the necessary procedures in line with our safety protocols, as the health and safety of our students and staff remains our leading priority.

"We are working closely with the police and relevant authorities to support their investigation and ensure that all safety procedures are followed. 

Ipswich Star: Councillor Tony Blacker Councillor Tony Blacker (Image: Ipswich Labour Party)

Cllr Blacker said: “I think the school were stuck between a rock and a hard place, if they had not responded very quickly to an incident like that and it turns out to actually be true they would have been rightfully ripped to pieces.

"The statement they did receive obviously caused a lot of stress and hassle for parents but of course they did the best they could in the circumstances.

“They need to find out whoever did the hoax and prosecute. Hundreds of households have been disrupted because of one prank call.”

A spokesperson for Stoke High Ormiston Academy confirmed it was a hoax and said the school is expected to open as normal to its 900 pupils on Friday.

The spokesperson said: “A message was received via the academy website. In line with our robust safety protocols, staff on site immediately evacuated and the police were contacted.

"Having thoroughly investigated, the police have said there is nothing to indicate at this time that this is a credible threat, and have asked the public not to be alarmed.

“To enable the authorities to assess and confirm the safety and security of the school site, we took the precautionary decision to close the school to students for the day.

"We expect to be open as normal tomorrow, with support available for students on their return, but we will keep parents/carers updated on developments."

Acting inspector Colin Clack said on Thursday that while officers had been at the scene the public should not be alarmed.

He added: "We are there to ensure public safety and provide reassurance to the school and local community.”