School pupils stranded after strike by ferry workers

A school trip to Paris by pupils at Lenzie Academy had to be abandoned because of a strike by French ferry workers.

Around 40 pupils of S1 and their teachers were stranded at Dover on Tuesday night as the French port of Calais closed as a result of the industrial action.

There were fears the children would be stuck on their tour bus for up to three nights.

Teachers took the decision to call off the trip and the disappointed youngsters returned home today, Wednesday.

Gordon Currie, Director of Education and Children’s Services said: “Unfortunately a group of 40 S1 pupils were caught up by the French industrial action and their trip had to be abandoned.

“They had travelled to Dover late on Tuesday night but as the strike took hold it became apparent that the children would be spending three nights on the bus or possibly more.

“The teachers felt this was unacceptable and took the decision with advice from the school and the council that the best course of action was to return home.

“There was a lot of uncertainty about when the situation would be resolved and we needed to put the health and wellbeing of the young people very much at the heart of our decision.

“This was a difficult decision to make – the pupils and staff were obviously very disappointed to be missing their trip, but this was unavoidable under the difficult circumstances.

“All pupils will be fully reimbursed for the trip.”

The workers from the MyFerryLink company went on strike and blockaded the port of Calais in a protest over job cuts.

As well as the cancellation of ferries, Eurostar services were ditched and part of the M20 motorway was closed.

Ferries were still stuck at Dover today despite the strike ending and lorries have been parked on the M20 in Kent, waiting for services to resume.