School in Birmingham partially shuts as travellers defy eviction notice

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A school has been forced to partially close after travellers on the car park refused to move on.

The principal of Shenley Academy in Birmingham said the site would be shut to all but Year 11 and sixth form students, who would get a police escort on to the site.

In a letter to parents, headteacher Lucy Monk said: "I am sorry to have to inform you that in spite of serving a 24-hour eviction notice on the afternoon of Saturday 25th February that the traveller community currently residing in the academy car park are not willing to abide by this notice."

She added that pupils coming to school should use the delivery entrance and "will be supervised by members of the senior leadership team and the West Midlands Police".

Sir Lenny Henry visited the academy, which was rated good in its last Ofsted report, as part of a theatre workshop in November last year.

Students were also told they would not be allowed outside the school building in the Weoley Castle area of the city for PE and break times.

Children not at school on Monday were being asked to do their work at home.

But Year 8 pupils who were due to travel to Aberdovey in Wales were told to show up as normal for their trip.

Mrs Monk said the academy, which has about 1,000 pupils on roll, was working with police and Birmingham City Council to legally remove the travellers, who turned up on Friday.

She added: "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.

"I have been working with West Midlands Police throughout the weekend as this situation has unfolded, and I hope to be able to return the whole academy to a normal operation as quickly as possible this week."