Page last updated at 12:21 GMT, Friday, 23 January 2009

Protesters spark academy closure

Academy protest
The school has been forced to close for the day

A troubled school in Cumbria has been forced to close for the day after parents and children held a protest.

About 200 people marched outside the Richard Rose Central Academy in Carlisle, some of them waving placards saying "They won't listen".

They were demonstrating over poor educational standards and demanded improvements and new management.

Head teacher Mark Yearsley said he would "work harder" to address the concerns of staff and pupils.

The school, which opened in September, has been closed for the day for "safety reasons".

Mr Yearsley said: "I'm disappointed the parents feel as if they haven't been listened to, I think we've worked very hard to hear their voice.

"However, if that is the case we need to work even harder to make sure they have input - it is after all, their school for their children - we only work there."

Meanwhile, it has also emerged that about 10% of students at the troubled academy were excluded during the autumn term.

'Taught well'

The academy said 154 of its 1,500 pupils were issued with fixed term exclusions, although no-one was banned permanently.

The school said it had a policy of zero-tolerance policy towards bad behaviour.

Carlisle's other new school, the Richard Rose Morton Academy, has not excluded any of its 500 pupils since it opened in September last year.

The school was moving towards zero exclusions and the fact that there had been no permanent exclusions was "encouraging", an academy spokesman said.

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