UPDATE: Police say rumours 'cause unnecessary alarm'.

A headteacher has described reports of a suspicious incident near a St Albans school yesterday, which police said did not happen, as an "unfortunate sequence of events."

Alan Gray, headteacher at Sandringham School said the situation had been compounded by social media before full facts were known to the police and school.

He explained: "The police advised the school not to communicate with parents until they could update us on their investigation later in the day.

"At 2 pm the police issued a communication to all schools to send a message to parents regarding the incident, which we duly complied with.

"The police then notified the school around 4.15pm that the incident had not actually taken place."

Officers were called a footpath between The Ridgeway and Malvern Close at around 8.30am yesterday morning after reports a pupil was approached by a man.

However Hertfordshire Constabulary said following an "extensive and thorough investigation"  the incident "did not happen."

Mr Gray continued: "The situation was compounded by social media which had already taken its course with numerous comments about the incident before the full facts were known to the police and the school.

"Clearly this was a very unfortunate sequence of events, however it has provided the opportunity to remind the whole community about safe practices in travelling to and from school, and how to react in certain situations.

"We would want all children to inform a responsible adult immediately if they were concerned by the behaviour of a stranger towards them."