Some of the seven to 11-year-olds were left in tears after a spaceship apparently crash-landed and a teacher was abducted by aliens.I could do with some sirens and flashing lights the next time I have a garden party. What do you reckon the hire rates are?
To make it look realistic, the school obtained sirens and flashing lights from the police and littered the grounds with debris from the 'spaceship'.
The 'Everyone Writes Day' - for all 370 pupils at the school in Burgess Hill, West Sussex - was designed to develop youngsters' writing skills.Let me just get this straight here - Sussex Police saw nothing wrong with spending the time of a PC and a PCSO helping a school fake a saucer crash?
It is based on an idea from the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the National Literacy Trust. The aim is to find ways to take writing beyond the classroom and to provide 'exciting stimuli' for storytelling.
At the start of the day, head Diana Goss informed pupils that an alien craft had crashed near the school and pupils were encouraged to 'follow a trail of debris' before stumbling across the UFO.
Sussex Police set up a crime scene around the crashed craft and supplied a police constable and a community support officer for two hours to help the children produce witness statements.
There wasn't anything else they could have been doing, perhaps? Patrolling for crimes being committed? Watching the skies, perhaps?
Oh, and the children they decided to scare out of their wits were special needs children:
Pupils were told that Joy Law, the school's learning support teacher, who is responsible for special needs pupils, had been abducted.Which didn't go down too well with the children or the parents:
Linda Molds, whose son Harry, nine, is autistic, said: 'He was genuinely worried that Mrs Law had been abducted.Quite.
'Because she deals with the learning support kids, they're all very close to her - and I know many of them were terrified by the whole experience.
'Harry will take everything you say literally, so when he was told aliens had taken Mrs Law away and the police were investigating - and then he actually saw the police - he believed every word.'
Lisa Maynard, 34, whose nine-year-old daughter Ashleigh is also a pupil at the school, said: 'She was incredibly upset by the whole thing.
'She came home in tears, telling me Mrs Law had been abducted. She's very fond of Mrs Law, and the whole thing really shook her up. She couldn't sleep.
'It was just too realistic, too dramatic. All the police, the sirens, the cordon - it was just too much.'
And all those parents who have told their childrn to trust the police, because they never lie to you, will be having some awkward moments right about now...
Last night, in a statement the school said: 'A few parents expressed concerns that some of the children had been upset by the apparent realism, and the head has spoken with them personally.Perhaps we ought to report these jokers to the Independent Safeguarding Authority as a 'potential danger to children'?
'The school would never knowingly do anything to upset or alarm children.
'The children were reassured throughout the morning that they were perfectly safe. They produced some excellent creative and factual writing.'
Sussex Police said: 'The police input was well-intentioned, and it was thought pupils would have a fun day.'Oh, I’m sure you did.
But that’s not what we pay you for, is it?