POLICE have confirmed that a gun was NOT taken into Kirk Balk Academy yesterday - and that the comments sparking the concern were made "in jest."

Police say they have concluded their investigation into a third party report that a firearm was taken into the school - and said they want to reassure the public they are confident there is no threat or risk of harm.

A spokesperson said: "Those involved have been identified and spoken to by officers, and it is believed while comments relating to a firearm may have been made, it was purely in jest and they have been advised of the seriousness and consequences of their actions.

"There is no information or evidence to suggest any incident has occurred, at any Barnsley School or specifically at Kirk Balk Academy.

"However, any report regarding firearms will always be taken seriously and the circumstances thoroughly investigated by police as the safety of the public will always be paramount and the immediate priority."

Kirk Balk Academy said in a statement this afternoon: "Kirk Balk Academy would like to reassure parents and carers that there is no substance to any of the allegations about a firearm, which have been discussed at length on social media over the last few hours.

"The information we released to you this morning is correct: namely, that the Police had found the rumour about the firearm to have been based on false information.

"This is still the case. The Academy has simply reported to parents exactly what the Police told us this morning.

"The discussion of this topic on social media today has caused disruption to school life and we would ask that all further speculation ceases immediately.

"The use of social network sites continues to expand rapidly. Whilst there are undoubtedly great potential benefits to such forms of communication, when used irresponsibly, the consequences can be extremely harmful.

"The Academy will be operating as normal tomorrow."