Chiswick Students In Mass Walkout

Community School pupils take part in national day of protests against education cuts


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Up to 500 Sixth Form, Year 10 and 11 students walked out of Chiswick Community School at break time on Wednesday 24th November to join the protest about the rise in University tuition fees and the abolition of Education Maintenance Allowance.

The protest was organised through Facebook and the internet.

The students left the site at break this morning and many travelled on to the demonstration in Central London.

"We understand the concerns of students and the right to protest. We do not approve of them missing school to do so," Chiswick Community School's Deputy Head James Whiting told

"With such large numbers wanting to participate we decided a confrontation with the students was not in the interests of the school. Sixth Form students have passes to our gates and it was not possible to stop other students at break leaving with them who were determined to do so. We received phone calls from parents too asking that their son or daughter could attend.

"We prevented younger students from going and took the names of all students who left the site. Parents were informed where possible by phone and students were told that parents would have to give permission or the absence would be followed up."

Students have been encouraged to take part in the protest by a number of organisations. One Facebook page says: "The day has now arrived and its going to be massive…but you still have time to get even more folk out. For example, you could chalk the details on the pavement outside your place of education, or sent a text out with the core details (time of walkout, meeting point etc) and a request that folk “send the text viral” i.e. text it to their own friends to text on to their friends…and as soon as you walk out send texts to all your friends in different schools and colleges etc telling them you've walked out and encourage them to do the same and to join you."

Events throughout the day included:

  • 10.30am Walkouts begin across London
  • 11am Carnival of Resistance procession from Malet St, ULU to Trafalgar Square – all welcome
  • 12noon Students from across London and surroundings assemble at Trafalgar Square (called by National Campaign Against Cuts & Fees)
  • 1pm March from Horse Guards Avenue to Parliament (called by Youth Fight for Jobs)
  • 5.30pm Mass protest at Downing Street to link student action with wider trade union movement

November 24, 2010

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