PUPILS have been told to stay at home after an unauthorised encampment blocked an access road to Ringwood School.

School leaders asked pupils to work remotely "to ensure student safety and safeguarding" following the arrival of travellers yesterday.

The group are said to be on the site of Ringwood Health and Leisure Centre and the access road to the Parsonage Barn Lane secondary school.

In a letter to parents, head teacher Leanne Symonds said: "On Sunday 28th June a large unauthorised encampment accessed the car park of Ringwood Health and Leisure Centre and the access road into Ringwood School.

"Upon school staff attendance with Hampshire Constabulary and New Forest District Council, access to the school was compromised. It is now possible to access the school however operational difficulties and the potential impact on students and staff arriving at school were considered and the school have made the decision to close on Monday 29th June 2020.

"The school continues to work alongside Hampshire Constabulary and New Forest District Council to resolve this matter as promptly as possible to ensure our students can return to the emergency school provision and planned Face to Face sessions for Year 10 and Year 12 on Tuesday 30th June.

"We understand the impact this will have on our local community and appreciate your understanding."

The school also published a statement on Facebook which says: "To ensure student safety and safeguarding the police have advised that we shut the school on Monday 29th June. Therefore if your child was due in school, please stay at home where they can work remotely instead."

A statement issued by New Forest District Council last night said: "We are aware of an unauthorised encampment at Ringwood Health & Leisure centre. We are working with colleagues at Hampshire Constabulary and Ringwood School to resolve the situation.

"We understand the school have taken the decision to close to students tomorrow. We understand the impact on the local community and are working to resolve this as soon as possible."