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Pupils 'terrified' after reported sightings of masked man lurking in girls' toilets at Cuckoo Hall Academy in Edmonton
Sightings of a masked man hiding in primary school toilets have sparked widespread concern from parents.
A pair of Year Two students claim they were confronted by a man wearing a balaclava in the girls' toilets of Cuckoo Hall Academy in Edmonton yesterday afternoon.
They alerted staff after sharing the tale with their friends, but when the lavatory was checked, the intruder was nowhere to be seen.
Although the issue was first reported to the school office, police were called to Cuckoo Hall Lane at 4.15pm and arrived on site to hunt for the intruder without success.
A worried mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “My concern is the school has had such positive press, but actually that is not totally accurate.
“Two Year Two children found him in there and they ran back terrified to class and then the police were called.
“The office told us there was an intruder. The children are all terrified that he can get in. We send our children to school to be safe.”
She believes the man jumped the school fence by climbing a tree, before sneaking in through the lavatory's window.
She said it is possible he fled the toilets through the window when the children raised the alarm.
Although Patricia Sowter, executive headteacher of Cuckoo Hall Academies Trust, said the school is yet to find any evidence of the man, they continue to take the claim seriously.
She said: “We take all such reported incidents extremely seriously, and so we have thoroughly reviewed all elements, including extensive CCTV footage from around the school premises.
“Whenever any incident is reported to us by young pupils in our care, we always believe the pupils’ reports until we can verify and validate their claims one way or the other.
“Following our very thorough investigation, to date we can find no substantive proof that this reported event occurred.”
She said staff discussed the reported incident in full with the parents of the pupils who made the claims, as well as the police.
Despite a full briefing at the school, she said police can find no evidence of the event.
The academy head said the school always prided itself on security procedures, which include a secure perimeter to the campus with high fences, 33 CCTV cameras, and a stop-and-question policy by all members of staff for anyone they do not recognise on premises.
Staff have been rebriefed about the need to be vigilant at all times as well as being alert to any possible breaches of security to the grounds.
All parents and carers were informed about the sighting.