AN INVESTIGATION has been launched and a man has been arrested following a bomb threat at a Southampton school.

Children and staff had already arrived at Regents Park Community College yesterday morning when a threat was made by phone.

They were immediately evacuated and police were called to the scene. Parents have praised the school for the way it handled the incident.

Now Hampshire police has confirmed a 21-year-old man from Southampton has been arrested in connection with the incident.

The man has been released but remains under investigation.

A message to say there was a bomb in the school was sent to the school phone at 8.05am.

Headteacher Jonty Archibald said: “The school received a message on the phone to say there was a bomb in the school.

“The school took the decision as a precaution to evacuate the site, sending students and staff to an external sports area.

“Our main concern was the safety of the children in our care.”

Mr Archibald said youngsters and staff were sent home when it became clear the investigation was taking some time and the weather deteriorated.

Parents were informed and picked their children up throughout the morning.

Martin Pearman, whose son and daughter attend the school, said he received a text from the school at around 9am.

The 45-year-old floor fitter, from Regents Park, said: “The school texted us to say that there was an incident going on at the school, and then we were told that kids could go home.

“There was good communication and I’m happy with the way the school dealt with it.”

Officers investigated the scene for the entire morning and left at around 1pm.

A Hampshire police spokesperson said: “Police attended as part of the investigation and we are currently treating this as a hoax. Nothing suspicious has been found at the scene.

“We take hoaxes extremely seriously. They divert police resources and cause disruption and alarm to the public.”

David Furnell, councillor for Millbrook ward, said: “Police acted very quickly.

“They have done a very effective job. I hope everything will get back to normal as soon as possible.”

The school is expected be open as normal today.