Officials have launched a probe after claims food was left out for a rat in the grounds of a Derbyshire school.
Video footage posted on social networking website Facebook shows the vermin in the grounds of the Staveley school.
Tracey Burnside, acting headteacher at Springwell Community College, said staff should not leave food for animals and confirmed an investigation had been launched.
She said: “Clearly staff should not put out food for any animals on school grounds.
“We understand that the bread was on the ground near the rat for a short period of time but we have launched an investigation to find out what happened.”
Mrs Burnside added: “We called out pest control as soon as we were made aware that there was a rat in the bushes in part of the school grounds which has no access to students.
“They were at the school within 90 minutes to set traps and poisons and will come back in a week for a follow-up visit.”
Parent Mandy Sludds, of Staveley, told a national newspaper: “The bread had been put out for the rat not far from the kitchen block. It was a big, pregnant thing with a nest under a bush. It was particularly bad because the school has only been up a couple of years, but the old building on the site had a real rat problem.”
Mrs Burnside stressed that the school did not have a problem with rats.
She said: “In common with other schools we have routine inspections by pest controllers and have had five inspections so far this year.
“All these inspections – including the last one in October 2012 – reported no signs of rats.”