Students at a Fenland senior school staged a protest today (Monday) angry about the way, they claim, access to the toilets is restricted during school hours.  

The protest at Neale Wade Academy, in March, was part of a wider national trend being promoted across social media, urging young people to push back on the rule.  

Insiders say lessons were cancelled this afternoon and parents were seen collecting students from school early. At one point, the fire alarm was sounded and students were evacuated from the buildings.  

Cambridgeshire police said it was aware of the incident and its safer schools office has been at the school today.  

A spokesperson later said two children, who were not from the school, were escorted off the premises but not taken to custody.

It was also clarified no crimes had been reported and the incident was being dealt with internally by the school.  

Students at other schools across the country have held protests over restricting access to the toilets since Friday. 

But Graham Horne, principal of Neale Wade Academy, said in a letter to parents and guardians that the school does allow access to the toilets “at all times of the day”.    

His letter, sent to parents yesterday (Sunday), said: “During lessons, this is done by asking permission from teachers. Students can then access individual toilets during this time. 

“The main concern is accessing larger school toilets throughout the day. The main toilets are open before school, for an hour at breaktime and another hour at lunchtime.” 

“We have trialled opening these facilities for longer hours. Sadly, on Friday, significant damage was done to the refurbished toilets. This damage was in the cubical and therefore cannot be observed.” 

Mr Horne also explained the school’s toilets had recently been refurbished, and further planned work on the facilities at Easter “will amount to more than £100,000”.  

Neale Wade Academy, which is part of the Active Learning Trust, had organised a series of activities for today to help resolve the issue and any grievances – but the protest still went ahead.  

In an updated statement released today by the school, Mr Horne said: “At Neale-Wade Academy our values are based on pride, confidence, opportunity and success and we ask our students, staff and whole school community to uphold these at all times. 

“While we recognise that students have the right to express their opinion on matters important to them, and we actively encourage them to do so, this must be constructively and calmly in line with the values of the school. 

“We have welcomed students discussing the matter of toilet access and safety during lesson time with us but regrettably a small number of students chose to do this in a disruptive manner which included damage to an area of a school toilet block. 

“This type of behaviour is unacceptable and the appropriate action will be taken against those involved.” 

He added: “The majority of students did protest and behaved appropriately and we are engaging with them in a series of events to allow for constructive discussion and the sharing of views on this topic.”