An ex-pupil was arrested by police after threatening to 'shoot up' a Bexley school.

On the morning of Thursday November 28, staff at Beths Grammar, an all-boys secondary, became aware of a Snapchat circulating amongst pupils which said: "F**k Beths I'm shooting up your school and I don't even go there anymore. Beths Students 2nd December stay at home."

Staff passed the message on to police, subsequently emailing all parents and carers to reassure them the matter was being dealt with, without disclosing the full details of the Snapchat.

On Friday, a 16-year-old boy who previously attended the school was arrested on suspicion of malicious communications, who told police he was "only joking" and that he posted the message out of "amusement".

He has since been released and referred to a youth offending team.

A spokesperson for Beths said: "On Friday November 29, we contacted the Police and received confirmation back from them at 09.44 that the writer of the post (an ex-student of the school) had been arrested at midday on the Thursday and had told them that he was only ‘joking’ and did it out of ‘amusement’.

"They confirmed that the risk had been eliminated and there was no reason to be afraid.

"The school then sent an email to all parents and carers to assure them that the school was safe and we reiterated all the Police had said to us.

"We also said that, while we were unable to legislate for the ex-student – now a member of the public – we apologised for any distress that had been caused to them and their family."

Some parents who were shown the Snapchat by their children on Thursday held them back from school the next day.

One mother told News Shopper her 13-year-old was "too scared" to attend in case something happened.

She expressed concern that, unless she had been shown the Snapchat by her son, she would not have known the nature of threat, insisting that "parents have a right to know".

From 2pm on Friday a series of 'special assemblies' were held to reassure pupils "there is no threat to the safety and security of students and staff."

Pupils were also told that a safeguarding review with Bexley Council would take place this week.

A spokesperson for Beths said: "The Police also confirmed that this was a malicious communication but not a true threat and they clarified that it is no real risk.

"We also took the opportunity to remind them of the impact of posting messages on social media and that we should all learn from this incident.

"We confirmed that we had undertaken another risk assessment of the school’s security systems and the gates, as always, are manned by senior staff before and after school.

"Additionally, we told them that a safeguarding review with the Local Authority was also due to take place the following week.

"Finally we said that we were unable to give any further information as the Police have advised us that this is not our information to give and went on to thank the parents and students who had alerted us of the situation and encouraged them to report anything to us of any nature, in future.

"At all times, the actions we took were to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff."