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Sixth form pupils confined to room during Boris Johnson school visit

Sixth form pupils confined to room during Boris Johnson school visit

He is a prime minister said by supporters to be relishing the campaign trail and enjoying the opportunity to meet the public.

But not, it seems, if the public in question are Nottinghamshire sixth form students.

Boris Johnson was accused of avoiding teenagers on Friday after hundreds of youngsters were reportedly confined to classrooms and a common room during his visit to their school.

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The year 12 and 13 pupils were kept away from the Old Etonian as he and his entourage spent 40 minutes at George Spencer Academy in Stapleford.

As the Tory leader met teachers and specially selected younger pupils, the older teens – who may have been keen to discuss education cuts and tuition fees – said they were ordered not to leave rooms where they were held for the duration of the visit.

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“We were told it was for security reasons,” 17-year-old Robbie Szymanski told The Independent.

“But it’s a pretty cowardly thing to do if you ask me. You’re at our school, Boris: come and see what we think of you.”

Lessons were held up because the youngsters were not allowed to move round the site. Some students, who should have had free periods, reported not being allowed to leave the building or go home.

“Everyone was pretty disgusted,” said Robbie, a history, sociology and economics student. “The ironic thing is most people aren’t even bothered about him. I think the majority of sixth formers would have probably not even gone to see him if they had the chance.”

There were suggestions other pupils may also have been affected. “My son is in year 10,” wrote one parent, Shelley Draper, on Twitter. “Very disappointed with how the school has treated him during this visit… Pretty fuming.”

The Tory leader tried to make a clay figure inspired by Sir Antony Gormley, while he was there.

He told specially selected pupils: “He’s an interesting chap, Antony Gormley. ll his sculptures are modelled on himself and then he persuades people to pay colossal sums for his own image around the world. It’s amazing success he’s had.”

The George Spencer Academy and the Conservative Party have been contacted for comment.

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