London

Southall pupils strike over teacher sacking

Pupils outside Villiers High School
Image caption Pupils walked out after hearing the male teacher had been dismissed by the school

Hundreds of pupils at a west London school are protesting in support of a teacher who was dismissed over "child protection issues".

The male teacher was sacked from Villiers High School in Southall on Monday after an internal investigation, headteacher Juliet Strang said.

Students began their protest at 0800 GMT after hearing about the dismissal.

Pupils who organised the protests said the accusations that led to the sacking were false.

It is understood the teacher was sacked, pending an appeal, following a hearing at the school on Friday.

The same day a 14-year-old boy was cautioned for a public order offence after being arrested outside the school when a disturbance broke out.

'Should be confidential'

One pupil who had helped organise Tuesday's demonstration claimed up to 500 pupils had skipped lessons to protest at the school gates.

He said all year groups were involved and that more pupils had been due to join the protest at lunchtime.

The headteacher said she was allowing the pupils to protest peacefully "provided" they remained in a safe place.

"It's more or less a peaceful protest - we are just letting them work out their protest," she said.

Ms Strang said one of the teacher's representatives had leaked the information to the pupils through other members of staff.

"That should never have happened," she insisted.

"All of this should be confidential and dealt with an a totally confidential way."

She said the leaks were part of an "orchestrated campaign to wind up students" and said the school, which has a total of nearly 1,230 pupils, was looking into its legal position.

"There are people with bigger political agendas who are out to destroy the school," she added.

"They are from outside the school but they have created a situation inside the school."

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