Shenley Academy in Weoley Castle is set to fully reopen tomorrow (Tuesday 28th February) as travellers have been moved off a school car park this morning.
Families in around 20 caravans and mobile homes moved on to the school car park on Friday, after being evicted from land under development in Longbridge Town Centre by landowners St Modwen.
Bailiffs, supported by West Midlands Police, served a 24 hour notice of eviction on Saturday lunchtime, to allow the school to be back open for start of term today.
However, the travellers failed to move at the given time and the academy head, Mrs Lucy Monk, was forced to partially close the academy today. Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 pupils were asked to remain at home while the school, supported by West Midlands Police, facilitated safe access and provision for Years 11-13.
At around 8am this morning, bailiffs served a further eviction notice from Birmingham City Council, supported by 20 specialist West Midlands Police officers alongside neighbourhood police colleagues.
Police officers closed Long Nuke Road between Woodcock Lane and Shenley Lane and, at around 10am, the first travellers began to leave. By around 11am the site was cleared (except for a few vehicles to be moved), gates closed and road reopened.
Bartley Green neighbourhood Sergeant David Cotter said: “Their behaviour is totally unacceptable and has caused huge disruption for the school, teachers and pupils, plus parents who’ve been forced to make last minute care arrangements for children unable to come to school.
“The group ignored a notice to leave, which gave them 24 hours to move on, and in the end we were left with no option but to force them to leave the school grounds.
Sgt Cotter added: “Since they arrived on Friday we’ve conducted house to house patrols, listened to people’s concerns, and reassured them we would act swiftly. I hope the community can see that’s exactly what we’ve done.”
In a notice on the school’s website, academy head Mrs Monk said: “I would like to thank our local councillors and West Midlands Police for their assistance in ensuring that the travellers left site this morning, and that the Environmental Services team were deployed so quickly in clearing the car park.”
Mrs Monk thanked parents and carers for their patience, saying: “I can only apologise for the disruption to the beginning of the new term. Whilst we were able to offer classes to students in years 11, 12 and 13 this is not an ideal situation as I know that this impacts not only on the students’ education but that it causes disruption to parents and carers returning to work today. Thank you for your patience whilst we dealt with a completely unacceptable situation.”
Since leaving Shenley Academy, the group of travellers has stopped at land awaiting development off Green Lane in Hawkesley, Kings Norton.
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