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  1. ITV Report

Nottingham schoolboys use cutlery to dig tunnel in attempt to escape school

Pupils attempted an audacious escape from Djanogly City Academy. Credit: Google Streetview

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.

Cutlery taken from the school canteen was used to 'aid their digging', the school said. Credit: PA Wire

"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 bid for freedom was reminiscent of a scene from The Great Escape starring Richard Attenborough and Steve McQueen. Credit: PA Wire

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%.