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Say it with flowers

Security clearly isn't a priority at the headquarters of academy sponsors Absolute Return for Kids.

In fact, it's so slack that protesters blagged their way in last week, armed only with a bunch of roses.

Claiming they wanted to deliver the Pounds 35 bouquet to project manager Katie Oliver was enough to get a group of seven anti-academy campaigners past the security guard at Ark's central London office.

After just one protester was asked to sign the group into the building, they were shown to the lift, before storming the charity's reception.

Senior staff at Ark initially refused to speak to the protesters, and called the police to have them removed. Unfortunately, Scotland Yard was only able to send a group of community support officers to defuse the situation.

The protesters, who oppose Ark's proposed academy at Wembley Park sports ground, left happy when an official agreed to listen to their concerns.

Hank Roberts, their leader, said: "Bringing the red roses was an important psychological tool in getting past the front door."

Next stop for this lot: direct-action training from Greenpeace.

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