Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds students join fees protest over tuition fees

Students in Leeds
Image caption Students gathered on the university steps before the protest

About 1,000 students have been taking part in a protest in Leeds over university tuition fees, with dozens of youngsters also leaving one school.

A spokesman for the students' organisation, Leeds University Against Cuts (LUAC), said the protesters were making their way to Victoria Gardens.

And up to 60 students walked out of Allerton Grange School in the north of the city in support of the action.

West Yorkshire Police said they had a "large policing presence".

Ian Pattison, LUAC spokesman, said they expected students from "a whole host" of educational establishments to join the city centre protest.

Mr Pattison, who is studying for a masters degree in politics, said: "There's a positive mood, but a lot of anger at the government's plan on tuition fees.

"But we're hopeful that something can be done about the fees."

Image caption Students massed in the centre of Leeds over the tuition fees

Mr Pattison said hundreds of students had occupied a building at Leeds University as part of the protest.

A spokeswoman for the University of Leeds said it was too early to assess how many lectures had been affected by the action.

But in a statement, a spokesperson for the University of Leeds said: "We understand and share the concerns of many of our students and staff about the proposed government cuts to university budgets.

"Our graduates need to compete with the best in the world, and we would be letting them down if we couldn't secure the funding needed to give them a high quality education."

In a statement, Rick Whittaker, head teacher at Allerton Grange School, said: "A number of students left the school site at break time to join in the student protest against government education cuts being held in the city centre.

"The school had made it clear to all students and parents that those taking part in the protest would be considered as truants and their absence would be unauthorised."

There were unconfirmed reports of students leaving at least two other schools in the city.

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