Pupils at a school in Nottingham attempted to escape by digging a tunnel using cutlery stolen from the canteen.
Five boys, under the age of 14, tried to tunnel under a 12-ft high metal fence during lunchtime at Djanogly City Academy, in a move apparently inspired by the famous wartime film The Great Escape.
Teachers soon rumbled their audacious plan and the hole was soon filled in.
The attempted breakout was revealed by assistant headteacher Andy Roach in an email to staff last week.
"Estates have filled in the hole and put a metal bar across the bottom of the fence in that area," he wrote.
"However, can staff on duty on the back field please keep an eye on them digging any more holes for this purpose in other areas along the fence.
"Estates also stated that quite alot of cutlery was found in the area, presumably stolen from the canteen to aid their digging, so if staff on the duty can keep an eye on students smuggling cutlery out of the canteen."
The academy later told ITV News that the students have been spoken to and the fence has been reinforced.
"We can confirm that five pupils tried to leave the school at lunchtime by getting below the fence on the fields at our Gregory Boulevard site," Elaine Crookes, Interim Headteacher, Djanogly City Academy, said.
"We have spoken to the students concerned, and taken action to repair the hole. That part of the fence has also been reinforced. Our staff are supervising that area to ensure our students stay safe and in school.”
The academy was put under special measures last year after an Ofsted inspection ruled it "inadequate".
Teaching at the school was criticised, while students' conduct showed a "lack of respect".
Attendance was said to be "below average", and inspectors urged the school to "raise awareness of the importance of full attendance" among families.
In a recent follow-up inspection, Ofsted said progress had been made with student attendance up by 2%.