Cambridgeshire

Travellers force Bottisham Village College school to close

Caravans at Bottisham Village College Image copyright Josh A Stevens
Image caption Caravans arrived in the school grounds on Thursday evening

A secondary school has been forced to close after travellers moved on to the site.

About 12 caravans pitched up at Bottisham Village College in Cambridgeshire on Thursday evening.

It issued a statement saying "a large group from the travelling community moved on to parts of the college grounds", leaving the school "no choice" but to close.

Police said they were aware and were working closely with the head teacher.

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On its website, the college said: "Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, we regret to inform you that Bottisham Village College will be closed on Friday 15th July and there will be no trips or other activities taking place."

Image caption About 12 vehicles can be seen on the school field
Image caption Police officers are currently at the school

Parents were expecting to collect a number of children returning from school visits to Derbyshire, Shropshire and Normandy later.

The college has arranged for an alternative drop-off point for coaches.

'Move on swiftly'

One village resident said she was "disappointed" the caravans had moved in "because we know there's going to be a mess left over there and its going to cost the school money to put the mess right".

Image caption The school has been closed to students all day
Image copyright Josh A Stevens
Image caption The school has cancelled all planned activities since the caravans arrived

Kate Evans, executive principal of the school, said staff were "doing everything in our power to resolve this situation quickly", working with both the police and their own solicitors "to bring this matter to a close".

"Around 12 trailers are currently on the school grounds having moved there last night," she said.

"This has caused disruption to the school, students and parents and we do ask the travellers now to move on as swiftly as possible."

Cambridgeshire Police confirmed officers "were in contact with the head teacher of the school and have a police presence in the area".

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