FORTY parents attended a meeting last night called after an attack by armed intruders at a school.

The event allowed parents of children who attend Hameldon Community College the chance to raise concerns with head Gill Broom, as well as police and council representatives.

A teenage pupil was hit in the head with a baseball bat by an intruder on Friday, December 14, in what police say was a racist attack.

Four teenagers have been arrested and released on bail following the attack.

Attendance at Hameldon, Byron Street, Burnley, went from 52 per cent to just 25 per cent in the three days following the incident before the school broke up.

Anxious to ensure a better attendance when school returns on Monday, the meeting was called in a bid to reassure parents.

About 40 parents came to the event, at the Chai Centre in Hurtley Street, Burnley.

Press were not allowed inside the meeting, but, speaking afterwards, Ms Broom hailed the "useful exercise" a success.

She said there would be a series of similiar meetings with parents in the coming term.

Ms Broom said: "It was good to sit down with parents and discuss their concerns. Obviously there have been concerns about the incident, but we also talked about issues, and everything that was spoken about was noted.

"We recognise the incident occurred, but we need to work together to ensure it doesn't happen again."

One parent said he had attended the meeting because of concerns about a "lack of communication" with the school.

Simon Flaherty, of Sylvan Drive, Burnley, has two sons in Year Eight at Hameldon, who did not go to school after the attack.

He said: "We kept our kids away prior to Christmas, out of genuine concern. They will be back on Monday. We do not want to jeopardise their educati-on."

Sgt Phillip Hutchinson, neighbourhood sergeant for Burnley West and Padiham, also met parents at the meeting He said: "I have a very good relationship with the school.

"If anything happens, Gill is the first to let me know."

Another meeting will be held today, at St Leonard's Church, Padiham from 4-7pm.