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Camden pupils walk out of school to protest at government cuts

PUBLISHED: 14:17 24 November 2010 | UPDATED: 14:38 24 November 2010

Pupils at William Ellis and Parliament Hill Schools

Pupils at William Ellis and Parliament Hill Schools

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

SCORES of Camden pupils walked out of school today in protest at government plans to increase tuition fees to £9,000 a year.

At William Ellis School sixth formers and some Year 11 pupils defied teachers’ requests to attend lessons as they walked out at 11am.

Sixth former Django Chan-Reeves, 17, said: “I’ve got two more lessons but I’m not going back in.

“This is going to affect me directly because my family is not rich. How much money does the government spend on the military and Transport for London? They should prioritise free education for all.”

At Parliament Hill School, girls were only meant to leave the premises if they had parental permission.

But parent Gary Boorman was incensed to learn that his 15-year-old daughter had walked out of school and was on her way to a demonstration in Trafalgar Square.

“It seems to me like mob rule,” Mr Boorman said. “A group of kids have got together and no doubt the more vociferous ones have said let’s walk out.

“The school should have told them you’re not leaving, sit back down and then locked the gates.

“What’s going to happen next time? They’ll decide they don’t like Wednesdays and just walk out.”

Meanwhile, at Hampstead School pupils were locked in but they found a way out and jumped over the fence.

Camden Council has warned that any students who walk out of school will have their absence marked as unauthorised.

A spokeswoman added: “While we understand that some students will want to exercise their democratic right to protest, their education is important and any schooling missed could have a detrimental effect on their results.”

Hundreds of protesters have gathered in Whitehall to show their opposition to the increase in tuition fees. More than 800 police have been deployed to prevent a repeat of a demonstration two weeks ago, which turned violent. The protesters attacked the Conservatives’ headquarters and up to 65 people were arrested.

For the full story see tomorrow’s Ham&High.


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