School forced to close its doors after travellers set up camp

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Ringwood School
New Forest District Council said it was working with police and Ringwood School (Photo: Google)

RINGWOOD School has been forced to close its doors today (Monday) after a large number of travellers turned up in its grounds.

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In a statement the school said a “large unauthorised encampment” arrived at the car park of the town’s health and leisure centre yesterday and the school’s access road, which is nearby.

“Upon school staff attendance with Hampshire Constabulary and New Forest District Council, access to the school was compromised,” it said.

“It is now possible to access the school. However, operational difficulties and the potential impact on students and staff accessing the school were considered and the school made the decision to close on Monday 29th June 2020.

“The school continues to work alongside Hampshire Constabulary and New Forest District Council to resolve this matter as promptly as possible to ensure our students can return to the emergency school provision and planned face to face sessions for Year 10 and Year 12 on Tuesday 30th June.”

The school added: “We understand the impact this will have on our local community and appreciate your understanding.”

A spokesperson for New Forest District Council said it was working with police and the school to “resolve the situation”.

She added: “We understand the impact on the local community and are working to resolve this as soon as possible.”

Hampshire Police said: ”We are aware of the unauthorised encampment at the Ringwood Health and Leisure Centre, and the access road into Ringwood School, and our officers have attended the site to assess the situation.

“We continue to work with Ringwood School and the New Forest District Council to resolve the issues around access to the school.”

This article was amended on 29th June 2020 to include a response from Hampshire police.

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