Police confirm bomb threat at Whitehouse Community Primary School in Ipswich was a hoax

Whitehouse Community Primary School, Ipswich.

Whitehouse Community Primary School, Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk primary school evacuated over a bomb scare this morning will remain closed for the rest of the day.

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A number of police units were called to Whitehouse Community Primary School in Marlow Road at about 10.40am today after staff raised the alarm – a woman had called claiming there was a bomb at the premises.

Pupils were evacuated as a precaution and parents were notified with calls and text messages.

They were asked to pick up their children from the nearby Westbourne Academy from around 11.15am.

Detectives say they are treating the scare as a bomb hoax – and said a number of police forces across the UK are investigating malicious communications to schools, including some in Sussex and Somerset.

“We are working together to investigate who is responsible and whether the incidents are linked,” a Suffolk police spokesman said.

Whitehouse staff confirmed the school was evacuated this morning and said everyone was declared safe.

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Kirsty Youngs picked up her son Joshua, 10, from Westbourne Academy as directed.

“It was a bit manic around there,” she said.

“We got a text message saying about it this morning and obviously I panicked, but the teachers are being really good.”

Fellow parents thanked teachers and senior staff for how they handled the evacuation.

Kayleigh Garwood wrote on Facebook: “Thank you to the teachers and staff at Whitehouse Community Primary for getting our children out of the school and to safety so swiftly.”

Emma Cracknell added: “Just picked my two up. Staff have done amazing to keep the kiddies calm.”

The school was the subject of an Ofsted inspection at the time and inspectors are now due to return tomorrow.

Earlier today there were fears other schools in Suffolk were affected.

But a police spokesman said this was not the case as far as the force was aware, and they had only been called out to one.

An investigation into the hoax call continues and Whitehouse Community Primary is set to open to pupils again tomorrow.

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