CHILDREN were left terrified after a controlled explosion was carried out without them being informed why.

The explosion was carried out at Beauchamps School, in Wickford, after a chemical substance known as 2.4-DNPH was found to be incorrectly stored.

The explosions are being carried out at schools across the country after a note from the science advisory body, Cleapss, was sent round reminding schools of how to store the chemical, used in A-Level chemistry, safely.

If the substance is allowed to dry out, it can become dangerous.

Beauchamps called in the bomb squad today to detonate their supply.

However, children at the school and neighbouring Hilltop Junior and Infants were left terrified after not being informed what the explosion was.

Residents were also concerned.

Mum Deborah Knights, 37, whose daughter, Lola, is in Year 3 at Hilltop Junior School, and son, Jae, attends Beauchamps, said both of her children were scared after the explosion as neither had been informed.

She said: “My son called me to say a bomb had gone off.

“I told him not to be silly and that it was just a firework.

“When I went to pick him and my daughter up, she gave me a letter to say that there had been a controlled explosion.

“Apparently the children had been outside at the time and were really scared.

“She had cried and a lot of her friends had cried too because they didn’t know what had happened.”

She said parents at both schools should have been informed by text.

In a letter to parents, junior school headteacher Alison Waite said: “Regrettably, although we were informed by Beauchamps ten minutes prior to the planned explosion by the bomb squad, the explosion actually occurred two to three minutes after we received the warning.

“This did not give us enough time to evacuate the playground and give children and staff prior warning.

“All the children in our care have been supported and reassured by staff as to what happened and were able to resume lessons this afternoon as normal.

“However, you may wish to discuss this further with your child.”

Beauchamps School has been contacted for comment.