MORE than 300 pupils and staff were evacuated from a primary school after a gas leak was discovered.
Workers from Transco ordered headteacher Steve Roberts to evacuate Weaverham Wallerscote Primary School on Thursday while they repaired the leak and allowed the gas which had been building up to evaporate harmlessly into the atmosphere.
The search began for somewhere to take take the children to safety.
Mr Roberts said: 'Michael Ridley, the vicar of Weaverham, and the staff at the community centre were brilliant and allowed us to use their premises until it was all over. Some of us went to Church House and the rest went to the community centre.
'We made sure that anyone who brought a packed lunch to school took it with them and when we arrived back after the all-clear was given the school cook, Gill O'Neil, laid on a free buffet for those who missed out on a cooked lunch.
'We were so lucky that both Church House and the community centre were available at the time and cannot thank everyone enough for their kindness.'
The only casualty was the school's playgroup party, which should have been held that day but went ahead instead the following day.
Three hundred children and 30 members of staff were evacuated during the emergency.
Mr Roberts said: 'We were told it was too dangerous to stay and we would have to leave the building immediately because of the build-up of gas under the concrete just outside the canteen. While we were away Transco vented the gas into the atmosphere and mended the leak.
'All the children behaved brilliantly throughout and our friends in the village were certainly there when we needed them.'