SCORES of Barnsley school pupils have been named and shamed on Facebook pages that threaten to expose their 'dirtiest secrets.'

Sexually explicit messages have been posted online -  publicly naming students from Penistone Grammar School, Barnsley Academy, Barnsley College, Kirk Balk ALC and Darton College.

The anonymous administrators of the pages had urged users to send in 'dirty secrets' and scores of children have been named by others in streams of posts, many of which are of a sexual nature.

Comments included ones such as 'XX lost her virginity to a 22-year-old' and more messages which were even more explicit and degrading to those named.

Kirk Balk Community College headteacher, Val Malcolm, said staff discovered a page about the school on Tuesday after they were told by upset pupils. They subsequently discovered a male pupil had been responsible.

"When we first spotted it, it was reported within minutes for it to be closed down (by Facebook)," she said.

"The pupils didn't know who had set the page up. Luckily it was a pupil but it could have been somebody looking to groom."

The Kirk Balk ALC page was removed within 24 hours of staff becoming aware of it and the school contacted the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

Carlton Community College's principal, Neil Hutchinson, said the appropriate authorities had been contacted and the Carlton page has also been closed down.

"Trolling is a great word to describe whoever is doing this, it's a horrible act and deserves a horrible name.

"It is abusive graffiti in a public place, with no more credibility than writing on the backs of toilet doors."

Penistone Grammar's senior deputy head, Geof Baddock, said: "It's appalling. We're taking action to warn our students that it's inappropriate and they're putting themselves at risk."

Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesman for children, young people and families, said the council would like Facebook to take action.

"We would urge Facebook to do all it can to stop this new, appalling and growing national phenomenon, and we are routinely reporting such things once we are aware of pages which relate to Barnsley."

A Facebook spokesman said the pages would be removed as they break terms set out in its statement of rights and responsibilities.

"While we don't comment on individual cases, content can be removed for a number of reasons such as bullying or harassing another user."

The police have been made aware of the issue.