Redland Green School issues statement after school is evacuated during student protest

Redland Green School says up to 150 students were involved

Redland Green School was evacuated after a fire alarm was triggered during a ‘supervised’ and ‘peaceful’ protest by students yesterday, the school has said in a statement.

More than 100 students took part in the protest centred on the school’s astroturf pitch shortly after 11am. School leaders say it saw students ‘make their voices heard’ on issues of racism and EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion).

During the protest a fire alarm was triggered and all students were evacuated - before returning to their classrooms at 12.05pm. A report by Bristol 24/7 included a comment from a member of staff who described the protest as a ‘riot’ - the school has since heavily downplayed this.

The school statement said: “During the 11.05 break period, up to 150 students decided to stage a peaceful protest on the school Astroturf, and on the school site. The students remained supervised and safe at all times.

“The fire alarm was triggered, and all students, including those protesting quickly followed the evacuation protocol. All students were back in classrooms as usual by 12.05, and for the rest of the day. None of the exams currently taking place at the school were disrupted.

“Some classroom doors were closed during the protest so that learning wasn’t disturbed. An inaccurate report suggested that considerable damage was caused in the school, which was incorrect, however a bin was knocked over as students moved through the school.”

Headteacher Ben Houghton added: “It is important that the voices of our pupils are not only heard, but also listened to, especially as EDI is one of our primary focusses for this year, and which will be externally audited next year.”

The school said that following the protest, it would continue to engage students, staff, families, and the community on the issues raised. It said that an equality plan and anti-racism policy was already in place.

Nick Lewis, interim chief executive officer at Gatehouse Green Learning Trust, which runs Redland Green, said: “At GGLT we pride ourselves on providing an education to prepare young people for life in modern Britain.

“This means that we commit to educating students to oppose discrimination, which is an anathema to British Values but rather positively work for a better, more equal society”.

Avon and Somerset Police was not called out to the school.