Protests Begin Over Tuition Fees Vote

Students and lecturers protested today in a last-ditch attempt to halt Government plans to treble university tuition fees.

Sixth-formers began the first occupation of a secondary school since the protests started as MPs prepared for tomorrow's vote to lift the current fee cap of £3,000.

About 100 students at Camden School for Girls, north London, staged a sit-in and said they intended to remain in the school overnight.

Rose Music, 17, said: "We're protesting against university fees and the lifting of the cap but also in solidarity with all the other people that are facing the brunt of these cuts.

"It seems that everything good is being cut at the moment and we're just a small piece of the jigsaw puzzle."

A spokeswoman for the school would not comment.

Acland Burghley School, in Tufnell Park, north London, closed early in response to the protests, with headteacher Jo Armitage saying: "As this has been widely publicised it is likely to attract large numbers of students and the general public and I cannot ensure students' safety in school."

Several protesters chained themselves to a fence outside the constituency office of Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone.

The Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green initially said she was undecided on the fees vote but today confirmed she would support the government.

The occupation at University College London (UCL), the highest profile demonstration since more than 100 arrests were made in Trafalgar Square on November 31, entered its second week today.

Students occupying UCL's Jeremy Bentham Room are awaiting a court decision that could give the university an injunction to have them evicted.

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