School children riot over teacher lay-offs

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The Independent Online
Hundreds of pupils at a school in Kent staged a mini-riot after governors decided to make five teachers redundant.

Windows were smashed, plants uprooted and fire extinguishers were set off during the incident at the Montgomery School in Canterbury on Thursday.

Pupils said that for several hours they were in control of the school as most of them took part in a protest against the governors' decision to lay off five staff members. The children said that some damage had been caused during the revolt. Staff apparently set off fire alarms in a bid to calm the situation.

The redundancies were part of a number of cuts planned to ease financial pressures on the grant maintained school.

Police were not called in.

A spokesman said: "We were aware that there was an incident there yesterday, but there was no need for a police investigation."

Neither staff nor governors were prepared to comment, but the headteacher, Rodney Freaks, said he was impressed by the loyalty of the pupils to their teachers.

He added that the children's message would be conveyed to the governors.

All the teachers involved are members of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers , which is currently negotiating with the governors.

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