A Wiltshire school whose IT network was targeted by hackers demanding a ransom have revealed the disruption is still ongoing.

Hardenhuish School in Chippenham discovered that hackers had taken control of their IT systems last weekend and were demanding a ransom to restore the network.

The school’s website remains down at the time of writing while their local server, internet access, WiFi, printers and internal telephone systems were also compromised.

A spokesperson for Hardenhuish has confirmed that the cyber attack is an ongoing situation and the school has employed a team of IT specialists to investigate.

They said: “Hardenhuish is currently experiencing disruption following a cyber incident which has impacted our IT network.

“As soon as we became aware of the incident, we appointed a team of third-party IT specialists to safely restore our systems and investigate.

“It is our priority to return to normal service as soon as possible. As investigations are ongoing, we cannot comment further on the nature of the incident.”

The school also sought to reassure parents that the disruption to pupils’ education had been minimal.

A spokesperson added: “We have plans in place for incidents of this nature and, as a result, we have been able to remain open and continue to provide our services to students and parents as usual.

“Our pupils’ learning and safety is our absolute focus and we have worked with staff to swiftly implement contingency plans to ensure minimal disruption whilst we get our systems back up and running.

“We are keeping our pupils, parents and our staff closely updated.”

The school have been in contact with the parents of their 1,623 pupils over the issue and notified them of the hack via text.

Hardenhuish sent a message to all parents saying they were: “Aware that Hardenhuish School has been targeted by a hacker who has installed ransomware on our local servers.

“In simple words, this means that someone from outside of school has gained access and control of the school IT network and is asking for money to restore the network.

“As far as we can tell at this point, no personal data has been compromised although our forensic specialists are at the early stages of their investigation and will update us as the situation unfolds.

“We are hopeful that at least some of our processes and systems will be back up and running by the beginning of next week and will keep you informed as soon as we have more information about the situation.”