Volcano leaves school staff stranded

By on 19/04/2010 in News

Birmingham City Council is so far aware of 50 school staff that have been unable to return for the start of term today due to travel disruption caused by the Icelandic volcano.

Five headteachers are among those stranded abroad in countries including Brazil, Poland, Tenerife, Eygpt, Denmark, Thailand and America.

At Bournville School and Sixth Form Centre a party of 57 schoolchildren and eight teachers are currently stuck on a school trip to Washington.

It is having to cancel Year 8 lessons tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday and Year 7 lessons on Thursday and Friday.

Despite the disruption, Bournville School is ensuring stranded pupils carry on with their education through its online “virtual learning environment” and is attempting to link up with a school in Washington.

Headteacher Barbara Easton said: “We are continuing with their education and putting work up on our virtual learning environment. We have asked teachers in Washington to link up with a local secondary school to use their computers.

“At the moment we are waiting to hear from the travel company about getting them back. Some of the students have exams so we want to ensure they continue with their learning.”

As yet, the impact on schools in the city has been relatively small, but Birmingham City Council is monitoring the situation.

Tony Howell, Strategic Director for Children, Young People and Families, said: “This is a unique set of circumstances which no one could have foreseen.

“Inevitably in an authority this size there are going to be some teachers and pupils who have been stranded abroad.

“Schools are doing everything they can to minimise the disruption caused and we hope for those affected things will return back to normal as soon as possible.”

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