Kidnap Hoax Headmaster And Parents From Wincheap School Talk To Parentdish

25/02/2012 00:04 | Updated 22 May 2015
Kidnap hoax headmaster Clive CloseKM Group

When Clive Close, head teacher at Wincheap Primary School in Canterbury, Kent, staged a kidnap hoax as part of a creative writing session for his pupils, he probably had no idea just how great an exercise in creativity it would turn out to be.

The head had arrived at the school in his car and grabbed the site manager in an abduction attempt, brandishing a water tap as a weapon. The Year Six pupils who watched the 'kidnap' unfold, were then asked to write an eye-witness account of what they had seen.

However, when various newspapers heard about the stunt, it was claimed that Mr Close had 'scared children stiff' with parents allegedly claiming that if the events had happened in an inner city school, the teacher could have been shot by the police.

Speaking to Parentdish this afternoon, a weary sounding Mr Close said the story had been blown totally out of proportion and 'sensationalised' by the media.

He told us: "I have not got much to say on the matter, but what I will say is, never let the truth get in the way of a good story."

Mr Close said he had spoken to two reporters this week who had 'manipulated a non story'. He added that the parents quoted in a newspaper yesterday as being outraged at the exercise did not exist.

"As of this moment now," he told us, "I have not had a single complaint from anyone."

Mr Close said the media interest had been 'good news' in one respect as it had been a useful exercise in the importance of accurate reporting for his students, who had studied the ensuing newspaper articles in their lessons, and learned about how language could be manipulated.

When asked if he would be repeating the exercise in the future, Mr Close said: "We do all sorts of lovely creative things here," but would not be drawn on whether the 'kidnap hoax' would be used again.

One dad with three children at the school told Parentdish that Mr Close and his staff were 'fantastic' and that his children were 'engaged and enthused' by their 'brilliant teaching and innovative approach'.

The parent added that his children "have never been so animated about learning as they have been through this and other examples of fantastic teaching.

"I'm 100 of other parents," he said.

What do you think? Do you agree with 'creative' exercises like this?

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