Pupils turned away as travellers move onto AKS Lytham land

Police at AKS on Monday
Police at AKS on Monday
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A Fylde school has been forced to close for the day after travellers turned up on its land overnight.

Pupils at AKS Lytham were turned away this morning, with school officials deeming it unsafe for them to attend lessons.

An estimated six caravans and towing vehicles have pitched up at a school field facing onto the promenade at the St Annes-Fairhaven border.

READ MORE>>> Readers react to AKS Lytham closing because travellers have moved onto its land

Police say they are liaising with the school and Fylde Council in a bid to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Headmaster Mike Walton said in a statement: “Due to unauthorised presence of travellers on the school grounds we have had to close the school today.

"Parents will receive an update later today."

One dad, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had dropped off his two daughters at around 8.40am today, but then received an email from the school at 9.08am, saying it was closing and that the pupils needed to be picked up.

The dad said: "I drop them off at the same time every day and they usually walk in from the entrance on the promenade.

"But this time there was a staff member in a high-vis jacket saying we had to drive round the corner and drop them to go in from St Paul's Avenue.

"They walked in from there but half an hour or so later the email arrived to say to go and pick them up.

"Our first thought was what a pain - my wife and I both work and we have had to quickly make alternative arrangements for other parents to look after the girls.

"But there are strangers on the premises and dogs roaming about and we realise that for health and safety and safeguarding reasons, they have made the right decision.

"We just hope it is resolved soon.

"There is a prize-giving ceremony coming up later this week and the girls are really looking forward to that."

Another parent said on Facebook: "Thank you for making the correct decision to close the school today. Keeping the children safe is of paramount importance."

AKS is a private school which has more than 500 pupils aged from three for 18.

Fees for senior pupils are a little under £4,000 per term. It is due to break up for the summer holidays on Friday.

Last July, travellers moved on to the YMCA sports field a mile or so away at Seafield Road, Lytham.

Fylde Council then took court action to have the travellers removed and they left the site several days later.

But is understood that, with the land affected being school premises, a different, more urgent, measure, under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 regarding the power to remove trespassers. is being being looked at this time.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: "We are aware of the issue and we are working closely with both the school and the local authority to resolve it."