HUNDREDS of disappointed Poole youngsters missed out on the fun of the nation’s top fundraising day, after the surprise arrival of Pudsey sparked a near riot.

The 700 pupils of Ashdown Technology College, Canford Heath were looking forward to raising funds on Children in Need day by paying £1 to dress in their own clothes.

Instead they were told to wear school uniform as usual after hundreds stampeded in front of the cameras as the popular bear arrived on the field by chopper at breaktime on Thursday, with a BBC South TV crew.

Pudsey was on his way to Ad Astra First School but the excitement surrounding his arrival led to headteacher Mrs Liz Jones cancelling the non-uniform day which was also raising funds for Diabetes UK.

Angry parent Clairemarie Saunders said: “Even the kids who weren’t involved are being punished. It’s not fair on them. My daughter was upset about it.”

The passionate fundraiser said: “I can’t believe a school can possibly be like this when all the money raised will go towards children that are not so fortunate as our children.”

However youngsters including her daughter Katie Pothin, 14, were determined to do their bit to raise funds for disadvantaged youngsters.

A pupil set up a Facebook page inviting students to wear their brightest socks to school and pay £1 for Children in Need and she took part.

“Ashdown should hang their heads in shame,” said her mum.

But Mrs Jones said: “We were really looking forward to our non-uniform day, so we were very disappointed to have to rethink our plans.

“We expect all of our students to act responsibly when they are at school and it is a shame that the actions of some of our young people on this occasion have meant that everyone has suffered disappointment as a consequence.”

She said: “The school holds many charity events throughout the year and is hugely supportive of Children in Need. We are encouraging students to make a donation in support of Children in Need if they still wish and also intend to go ahead with our non-uniform day to raise money for Diabetes UK in the near future.”