Sixth Form pupils ‘hidden away’ from Boris Johnson during school visit

Sixth Form students have accused of avoiding them, after they were ‘hidden away’ in the common room during his campaign visit to a Nottinghamshire school.

Pupils in year 12 and 13 were reportedly not allowed to leave the common room for 45 minutes due to ‘security reasons’, until the PM was safely off the premises.

The comments have emerged after Mr Johnson visited George Spencer Academy in Stapleford on Friday morning, where he met teachers and took a series of photos with younger pupils during an art class.

17-year-old Robbie Szymanski told Metro he and other pupils felt like the PM was perhaps trying to dodge questions from the older students – many of whom are able to vote or are eligible to register.

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Pupils who had free periods and could have gone home at 11.15am when break starts, were reportedly not able to leave the common room or building until 12pm, while some lessons were delayed due to the hold-up.

Robbie said: ‘They just said it was for security reasons – they kept us inside when there was no reason to. It was annoying they thought we might do something bad.

‘Maybe if they had risked the Sixth Formers seeing [Mr Johnson], we could have said something politically factual.’

The pupil, who studies economics, sociology and history, said he and his peers would have benefitted from hearing Mr Johnson’s plans ‘first-hand’, should he win the election in December.

‘With us being older, a lot of us know more about politics than the younger pupils,’ added Robbie.

‘It would be nice if they could have given an assembly and let us know they are acknowledging us instead of just hiding us away.

‘You would think he’d be trying to appeal to more of the Sixth Formers, especially as many can vote.’

Robbie’s mum, Anne Szymanska, echoed her son’s comments, adding that she thought ‘any politician’ would want to engage with older teenagers.

‘They are the future voters – it was a bit disrespectful,’ she said, ‘maybe the prime minister didn’t want anyone to ask difficult questions.

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‘I personally don’t think any politician should be going into schools during elections for photo opportunities. I don’t think that’s right.

‘I felt quite angry about it – that they felt the need to confine children and keep them away from the prime minister and perceiving it as some kind of security risk.’

The mother and son pointed out that during David Cameron’s tenure, he too paid a visit to the school along with Michael Gove and Nick Clegg, but that the pupils were not hidden away and were informed in advance.

Shortly after the incident on Friday, Anne took to Twitter to express her concern, writing: ‘My son’s school has locked the sixth formers in their common room until 1145, because an unnamed Cabinet Minister is visiting the school. Who could it be that is afraid of with 6th Formers?’

Her post was met with thousands of responses, with one parent of a year 10 pupil at the school saying she was left ‘pretty fuming’ at her son’s treatment.

George Spencer Academy falls under the marginal seat of Broxtowe, where Change UK’s Anna Soubry, is currently the MP.

In 2017, the then Tory MP, won the seat with a slim majority of just 863.

The constituency is one of 60 seats where pro-EU candidates have agreed to stand down and allow other Remain MPs a better chance of winning, in a deal struck between the Lib Dems, the Greens and Plaid Cymru.

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George Spencer Academy spokeswoman Kate Godfrey told Metro: ‘The visit ran late and the break bell was delayed, meaning that we asked students to stay in their scheduled lessons for a few minutes, making up for this with an extended lunch.

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‘We are proud of our politically engaged and articulate students and of the opportunities that we create for them to challenge politicians including, last week, Anna Soubry [the local MP].

‘We’re now looking forward to other election activities including a hustings for all candidates.

‘Given the level of interest, we are hoping for a great turn out from parents and students – particularly from sixth-formers who may be eligible to vote.’

The Conservative Party declined to comment.

Got a story for Metro?

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at . For more stories like this, .

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Sixth Form students have accused of avoiding them, after they were ‘hidden away’ in the common room during his campaign visit to a Nottinghamshire school.

Pupils in year 12 and 13 were reportedly not allowed to leave the common room for 45 minutes due to ‘security reasons’, until the PM was safely off the premises.

The comments have emerged after Mr Johnson visited George Spencer Academy in Stapleford on Friday morning, where he met teachers and took a series of photos with younger pupils during an art class.

17-year-old Robbie Szymanski told Metro he and other pupils felt like the PM was perhaps trying to dodge questions from the older students – many of whom are able to vote or are eligible to register.

Advertisement Advertisement

Pupils who had free periods and could have gone home at 11.15am when break starts, were reportedly not able to leave the common room or building until 12pm, while some lessons were delayed due to the hold-up.

Robbie said: ‘They just said it was for security reasons – they kept us inside when there was no reason to. It was annoying they thought we might do something bad.

‘Maybe if they had risked the Sixth Formers seeing [Mr Johnson], we could have said something politically factual.’

The pupil, who studies economics, sociology and history, said he and his peers would have benefitted from hearing Mr Johnson’s plans ‘first-hand’, should he win the election in December.

‘With us being older, a lot of us know more about politics than the younger pupils,’ added Robbie.

‘It would be nice if they could have given an assembly and let us know they are acknowledging us instead of just hiding us away.

‘You would think he’d be trying to appeal to more of the Sixth Formers, especially as many can vote.’

Robbie’s mum, Anne Szymanska, echoed her son’s comments, adding that she thought ‘any politician’ would want to engage with older teenagers.

‘They are the future voters – it was a bit disrespectful,’ she said, ‘maybe the prime minister didn’t want anyone to ask difficult questions.

Advertisement Advertisement

‘I personally don’t think any politician should be going into schools during elections for photo opportunities. I don’t think that’s right.

‘I felt quite angry about it – that they felt the need to confine children and keep them away from the prime minister and perceiving it as some kind of security risk.’

The mother and son pointed out that during David Cameron’s tenure, he too paid a visit to the school along with Michael Gove and Nick Clegg, but that the pupils were not hidden away and were informed in advance.

Shortly after the incident on Friday, Anne took to Twitter to express her concern, writing: ‘My son’s school has locked the sixth formers in their common room until 1145, because an unnamed Cabinet Minister is visiting the school. Who could it be that is afraid of with 6th Formers?’

Her post was met with thousands of responses, with one parent of a year 10 pupil at the school saying she was left ‘pretty fuming’ at her son’s treatment.

George Spencer Academy falls under the marginal seat of Broxtowe, where Change UK’s Anna Soubry, is currently the MP.

In 2017, the then Tory MP, won the seat with a slim majority of just 863.

The constituency is one of 60 seats where pro-EU candidates have agreed to stand down and allow other Remain MPs a better chance of winning, in a deal struck between the Lib Dems, the Greens and Plaid Cymru.

Advertisement

George Spencer Academy spokeswoman Kate Godfrey told Metro: ‘The visit ran late and the break bell was delayed, meaning that we asked students to stay in their scheduled lessons for a few minutes, making up for this with an extended lunch.

More:

‘We are proud of our politically engaged and articulate students and of the opportunities that we create for them to challenge politicians including, last week, Anna Soubry [the local MP].

‘We’re now looking forward to other election activities including a hustings for all candidates.

‘Given the level of interest, we are hoping for a great turn out from parents and students – particularly from sixth-formers who may be eligible to vote.’

The Conservative Party declined to comment.

Got a story for Metro?

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at . For more stories like this, .

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