Traveller camp forces Birmingham school partial closure

Shenley Academy, BirminghamImage copyright

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The group of travellers included about 60 adults and some children, police said

A school has been forced to shut to most students after travellers set up camp in the car park.

Shenley Academy in Birmingham said it was closed to all Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 pupils after travellers ignored an eviction notice issued on Saturday.

About half of the group, which officers said included 20 caravans, a horse and dogs, have now left the site.

West Midlands Police said it had helped evict the group after the city council served an immediate eviction demand.

The academy remained open to pupils in Years 11, 12 and 13 who were told to avoid using the main entrance and were escorted on to the site by police and staff.

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School principal Lucy Monk said of the partial closure: “I recognise that this situation is detrimental to the education of our students, and it is certainly not a decision which has been taken lightly.”

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West Midlands Police

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The travellers arrived at the site on Friday afternoon

Mrs Monk said the school had been working with police over the weekend.

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West Midlands Police

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Police said an operation to remove the group begun at 08:00 GMT

Local police sergeant Dave Cotter said the travellers’ behaviour was “totally unacceptable” and had caused huge disruption for the school, staff and parents forced to make last-minute care arrangements.

“The group ignored a notice to leave, which gave them 24 hours to move on, and in the end we were left with no option but to force them to leave the school grounds,” he said.

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