EIGHT hundred sixth form students are estimated to have marched through Winchester this lunchtime in protest over tuition fees.

Pupils from Peter Symonds College and Barton Peveril turned out in force for the noisy march through the city streets.

Alongside was a further 50 students from Winchester University who were carrying a coffin to signal the death of higher education. They marched through the High Street, Romsey Road, past the cathedral and through a cemetery an hour later.

College students had walked out of their lessons just after 10.30am to take part. It is understood they had been "discouraged" by staff via an email sent to them earlier.

Toby North, 17, president of Peter Symonds student union, said: "Thousands of students are not going to be able to go to university now due to fee increases, and its just not fair."

Seb Miell, president of Winchester university student union, said the aim of their silent protest was to show students "don't have to be loud and noisy to be heard and make a point".

He said the protest had the full support of the university and had been co-ordinated with local police.