Facebook scam hits Heysham High School

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A SCAM Facebook page is being investigated after a big drop in attendance at Heysham High School on Monday.

The site, claiming to be the school’s official home on the social networking platform, allegedly told pupils that school wasn’t open until Tuesday.

The summer term in fact began on Monday, meaning some pupils returned to school a day late after the Easter break.

Janice Coltman, Heysham High’s director of personnel and administration, said: “There were probably double the amount of pupils off to what you’d expect the day after a holiday but it’s really difficult to quantify how many were off because they thought school was closed.

“It doesn’t help the parents, pupils or us, because it goes down as an unauthorised absence.”

The school is investigating who is behind the page, which had 991 “Likes” before it was removed shortly after The Visitor contacted Facebook.

The school has texted parents to point out that the only official online news source for the school is on its website.

Ms Coltman said: “I’ve put out some feelers to see if we can find out who is behind the page.

“It has caused us problems and people need to realise it’s not official. The only official news comes from our website.

“We sent our usual absence texts out and realised there was an abnormal amount. We then received texts back saying that it said that the school was shut on Facebook.”

Ms Coltman claimed she had become aware of the Facebook page during the Easter break and had reported it as a scam around a fortnight ago.

Claire Biggs from Heysham, who has two sons at Heysham High, said: “I had booked in work on Monday and then one of the boys said that they didn’t go back until Tuesday because he’d seen it on Facebook.

“This was a bit worrying because I was working from home and had clients coming to the house but I then thought since when was Facebook the school’s official site and so I checked the website.

“I didn’t realise it was a scam Facebook site though that the kids had been looking at.”