UPDATE: Daventry school closed after pupil protests; school praises staff, parents and police response

Police were called to William Parker School in Daventry after a protest by pupils got out of hand.
Police were called to William Parker School in Daventry after a protest by pupils got out of hand.

WILLIAM Parker School has been closed for the day following protests from pupils which got out of hand.

Pupils have told the Daventry Express, who had a reporting team on the scene, that they were protesting against potential cuts at the school, which they believe could lead to teachers losing their jobs.

Police were called in to help restore order.

A statement from the school on its website said: “A number of students decided to protest about the staff restructure by setting off the fire alarm.

“I would stress that no riot has taken place at the school and this was a peaceful protest with no arrests, no damage and no injuries.

“I am grateful for the support of staff and parents in ensuring that the pupils left safely. I am also appreciative of the support provided by community police officers.”

This afternoon a spokesman for Northants Police said: “Officers are currently dealing with an incident at William Parker School in Daventry.

“Officers were called to the school at 12.10pm today to assist teachers and staff with pupils who had been gathering as part of a peaceful protest.

“The protest, which was in relation to job cuts at the school, was a peaceful one. Unfortunately fire alarms was set off which led to an evacuation of the building.

“It has been widely reported on social networking sites that a riot is taking place at the school, however it must be stressed that this is not the case and officers are at the scene only to help staff bring the school back to normal order.”

Police said one person was treated for a panic attack. There have been no arrests.

On Monday, the school will be open as normal.

Daventry Insp Paul Valentine said: “We are aware there is a great deal of rumour surrounding this incident and many concerned parents as a result.

“We would stress that no riot has taken place at the school and this was a peaceful protest with no arrests, no damage and no injuries.

“Thanks to the good work of teachers and staff, the school has now returned to normal and pupils are back in class, however the head teacher has taken the decision to close the school for the rest of the day.

“As there is a great deal of traffic congestion outside the school parents are advised to park in the nearby Phoenix Centre and walk to the school to collect their children.”

Officers will be working with the school to identify the individuals who set off the fire alarms. Local police will also be on hand to provide reassurance at the school on Monday and to deal with any issues or concerns as a result of the protest.