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Fareham - Pupils 'strike' over mixed tutor groups

A "strike" by pupils due to join mixed-age tutor groups at a Hampshire school led to police being called in. Some children are now facing exclusion.

Pupils at Henry Cort Community College in Fareham staged a protest on Monday last week over the groups, which will be a mixture of Years 7 and 10.

Initially, about 100 children protested, but others joined in. The police were called to ensure pupils returned to classrooms. Some of those who refused now face exclusion.

The mixed tutor groups, which will meet for 20 minutes daily, start in September. Children were worried they would be separated from friends or that older pupils would intimidate them.

Mixed - or vertical - tutoring is growing in popularity. Last year, the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust recommended the practice as a means of improving behaviour and pastoral care.

Phil Munday, principal of Henry Cort, said the school believed the system would create more of a family atmosphere.

"If we do this right then the older children can help the youngest children to settle in."

Other local schools have successfully adopted the scheme, which Mr Munday says will go ahead as planned. IH.

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