We are happy to inform parents that the reported fire at The Friary was not quite as big news as it may have been portrayed.

Two A-Level scientists – undertaking the set AQA coursework practical experiment and accompanied by trained staff – unfortunately had a small flask slip on their experiment which landed on a bunsen burner. This produced a small flare up in a protective fume cupboard which set off the fire alarms. The fire was put out by a small fire blanket and by closing the fume cupboard door.

The fire service was called as part of normal Health & Safety practices and they arrived to make regular precautionary checks. The two officers who came into the building were very professional, good-humoured and were perfectly happy with all of the arrangements, precautions, the evacuation and the whole way it was dealt with.

Matt Allman, Headteacher, said: “The experiment saw small spillage that resulted in a brief flare-up. Everyone was safe and lessons have carried on in the lab as usual. It has been very disappointing that it seems to have become front page news as we have had many worried parents calling up asking if their child is unharmed. Rest assured, we will still continue to run science experiments, bake in the food rooms, make pottery in the kiln and use the forge in Tech rooms as, despite unnecessary worries caused here, we want our students to learn.”