Travellers force school to close with pupils sent home after they pitch up right outside the gates and start fire | The Sun

TRAVELLERS forced a school to send pupils home early when they pitched up in the entrance.

The group parked up their caravans right outside the gate and started a fire at their campsite.

There are also several gas cylinders and barbecues outside Llanwern High School in Newport.

The travellers and caravans arrived directly outside on Tuesday and were still there this morning.

But pupils have managed to get into the school still each day.

One member of staff told The Sun: "Our priority is the pupils' safety. We've created a patch around it."


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Newport city council is working with the school and liaising with Gwent Police regarding action.

A school spokesman said: “Travellers have set up camp immediately outside the school gate.

"The camp has a fire going at the moment so in agreement with the chair of governors, on this occasion, pupils have been directed to leave via the rear of the school and across the SDR bridge.

“To ensure pupils are not delayed in getting home, they have been allowed to leave a little bit earlier than usual.

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"Pupils who take the bus will still be able to and those being collected will be allowed to leave via reception.”

A spokesman for the city council said: “Newport City Council is aware of the unauthorised encampment at Llanwern High School.

"The council has signed up to a Gwent regional protocol with Gwent Police and the four other councils for the management of unauthorised Gypsy and Traveller encampments.

“As per the protocol, our officers are currently liaising with Gwent Police regarding this encampment.

"The council are also working with the school to ensure safe access is maintained to the school site for pupils and staff.”

Yesterday The Sun told of a community struggling to sleep after 30 caravans parked up on the local cricket field.

Residents said they felt threatened and called the group disgraceful, but the travellers hit back and blamed public racism for any fears of their community.

One elderly woman who lives within 50 metres of the park in Waterlooville, Hampshire, said she hardly slept because of worry.

A young dad visiting the park with his two-year-old said: "It's messy and the kids don't have any parents looking after them.

"Our son couldn't play because of it."

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But dad-of-four James McDonald, 40, who is staying in the park, insisted: "We aren't making any mess here. People don't understand the culture – that's basically it.

"They seem to be educated enough, but they don't seem to listen."

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