Anger as London school trip axed

RL Hughes Primary School, Ashton In Makerfield
RL Hughes Primary School, Ashton In Makerfield

There has been a mixed reaction from parents at a Wigan primary school after a trip to London was cancelled in the wake of the weekend attacks.

Children at R.L. Hughes Primary School in Ashton, were told by class teachers on Monday that they would no longer be going to the capital today for their planned three-day trip due to the recent terror attack on the capital. But the news went from bad to worse when parents learned that they might not be getting the £226 back which they have paid for the excursions and accommodation.

One mum, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “All money is being lost by the school. Over £10,000 lost. Fair enough we all understand safety is a main priority, but they didn’t even give the parents that choice to choose if we sent our children or not. We all understand safety, but we feel we have been robbed of £226 and have very upset children.”

The parents of Year Six students have been told that the money they have been paying since September has been paid up front to the travel company which has organised various outings including a trip to Hard Rock Cafe and a meal at Pizza Express, as well as tickets to a West End musical, a tour around London and entry to the Natural History Museum as well as other activities.

Headteacher Monica Middlehurst said: “The overwhelming majority of parents are very supportive of the decision.

“We are looking into the possibility of a refund but until we have had confirmation from the travel company that’s all I would say. It’s all been very quick. We have paid the travel company up front. They are now speaking to the parties they have paid.

“We want to get as much back as we can. We would not want our parents to go without. The priority of the school was the health and safety of the children. It was a decision by the school in the best interests of the children.”

The overall decision to cancel the trip has been met with mixed responses from parents. Some supported the school’s decision with one parent saying: “If anything did happen it would be on Mrs Middlehurst’s head and conscience. Would you want that on yours? I sure wouldn’t. I think she’s done the right thing.”

Another disagreed saying: “I think it should be each parent’s choice. I’d go, I’d let my children go.”

In March, following the Westminster attack, another local primary school was faced with a similar decision.

Year Two pupils from Nicol Mere went ahead with their journey to the capital after staff consulted with parents. .

The children laid flowers and left messages of condolence at the site.

Nicol Mere head teacher Paul Gubbins said the trip was an important message to the children, aged six and seven, not to be scared of attacks like this.