A HEXTABLE school closed down by Kent County Council "was like a prison" and treated pupils like animals, according to one parent.

KCC took the decision to close Furness School, in Rowhill Road, on May 17, following a two day Ofsted inspection.

It is the third time the school has shut unexpectedly this year, following a full three day closure from February 1 and a partial closure on February 6 and 7.

The specialist school, which teaches students aged between 11 and 16 with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, will now remain closed until at least June 11.

Parent Mark Chay told News Shopper how razor sharp wire was attached to the school’s roof in the weeks before it shut after students rebelled against the detention policy.

The 50-year-old from Edenbridge said: “They decided the way to bring the kids to heel was to put them in detention or exclude them.

“My boy got into detention and was excluded the next day - it was a comply or go mentality.

“The students kicked back against it and did roof-top protests as they were not going to comply.”

Mr Chay explained how the school first used anti-climb paint to prevent pupils climbing to the roof but the youngsters interpreted this as a further challenge.

The former school governor added: “Rather than engage with the boys and earn their trust the next thing was they put up razor wire.

“Many of the children have personality disorders - you have to get them to trust and respect you and then they will engage in education.

“My boy in Year 9 came home from school and told me it’s like a prison.

“If you treat children like animals they’ll behave like animals.”

Mr Chay also said the school excluded 11 pupils in the days before the Ofsted inspection on May 15 and 16.

He said: “They put my boy in a taxi and sent him home, calling up and saying make sure someone is at home to receive him.”

KCC area education officer Simon Webb said: "For pupil safety, it is important they are deterred from climbing walls and fences.

"An effective deterrent is to install an anti-climb barrier that rotates as it is grasped, which helps prevent pupils from scaling the fence or wall - this is what has been installed at Furness.

"The exclusions took place before the Ofsted inspection for 11 pupils for a 15 day exclusion.

"Once KCC took over the management of the school these were reduced to five days."