Ex-Fylde coast headteacher in school gun scare

Patrick Earnshaw
Patrick Earnshaw

A former Lancashire headteacher has been caught up in a gun scare which saw his new school put into lockdown.

A man was arrested on suspicion of firearms offences after reports that a gunman fired shots at school workmen.

Dorset Police confirmed a man had been arrested close to Highcliffe School in Christchurch, near Bournemouth, following the incident, shortly after midday yesterday.

The headteacher at the school, Patrick Earnshaw, was until recently the headteacher of Carr Hill High School, Kirkham.

The school had been placed on temporary lockdown, with staff and children kept inside the building for their own safety. No one was injured in the incident.

A police spokesman said: “Police were called at 12.06pm to reports that an air weapon had been fired at groundsmen working on fencing surrounding Highcliffe School in Christchurch.

“Police officers including armed response units are conducting a search of the area.

“Dorset Police would like to reassure parents there is no risk to the children at the school, who are being kept in the school building.”

In a statement on its website, the school said: “Reports of armed police being called to the school are incorrect. There is no need for parents or students to be alarmed. Students are safe.”

Police said the arrested man is a 26-year-old from Christchurch. Restrictions at the school have since been relaxed, the spokesman said.