Police were invited into Upton-by-Chester High School to talk to students following reports of fights being organised by young people via social media.

Parents and carers of students were emailed on Wednesday about recent incidents of anti-social behaviour involving school pupils from all over Chester.

Deputy headteacher Sharon Hitchen explained in the email that the police were invited in by the school – which has 1,600 students on roll – after a ‘small number’ from various city high schools were caught fighting after school and that the fights were arranged through social media platforms.

There is no suggestion that any fights have been taking place on school premises.

Calling the behaviour ‘obviously not acceptable’, Mrs Hitchen warned that it ‘tarnishes’ the school’s ‘good standing’ in the community.

She said: “The message from the police is simply ‘do not get involved and tell a teacher’.

“This is not a cause for alarm but we needed to be proactive and take a lead in getting this message across to all pupils.”

Speaking after the assemblies, headteacher Paula Dixon said: “Upton High School is proud of its excellent reputation in the community and as such we have taken the lead in tackling a Chester wide problem involving young people arranging fights through social media.

“Through working closely with our local community police we have taken the initiative in warning our students of the risks they face should they become involved in any such activity.

“As a community school I believe it is imperative that we take a lead in helping to support our community and in ensuring that the health and safety of all our students is paramount.”

A letter by Inspector Paul Loughlin, of Chester Local Policing Unit, was also sent out, in which he said that patrols will be stepped up in the area with ‘a view to prosecuting any offenders’.

Insp Loughlin revealed that residents have made complaints about the ‘actions’ of young people in the area.

“These actions include public order offences, fighting, anti-social behaviour and behaviour that generally affects the quality of life of those living in the area,” he said.

Advice for parents

Parents and carers have been advised to speak to their children about the implications and consequences of anti-social behaviour.

Police will also be visiting other high schools in the area.

A spokesman for Cheshire Constabulary told the Chronicle: “We are aware of some low-level public order incidents involving pupils at some of our local schools.

“We are visiting each to speak to all of the pupils during assembly, reminding them of the consequences of their actions and the impact their behaviour has on our communities.”