Hartlepool school cancels trip due to terrorism fears

Stephen Hammond, headteacher at English Martyrs School & Sixth Form College.
Stephen Hammond, headteacher at English Martyrs School & Sixth Form College.

A Hartlepool school has cancelled a trip to Germany amid the heightened terror alert gripping Europe.

A group of English Martyrs School students were due to leave on Saturday.

The five-day trip would have included travelling through Belgium, which is currently on high alert, and France, where 130 people were murdered by Islamic State terrorists, just 12 days ago.

And a terrorist plot to detonate three bombs at a German international football match was reportedly foiled at the last minute when the game was cancelled last week.

Parents were informed of the decision by the school at a meeting on Monday night.

The trip has been postponed until next year and families will be given a full refund.

Stephen Hammond, headteacher of English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College, said: “In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and the fact that many European countries have heightened security measures in place we have consulted with the travel company organising the trip and decided to postpone it until the same time next year.

“Parents, who appear to be pleased with the decision, will receive a full refund and any student who wants to go on the trip next year will receive a place.

“We want our students to have a really positive cultural experience when they visit Germany and we did not feel the increased security that is currently in place would allow for that.”

Parent Michelle Wilkinson, whose daughter Abbiemay was due to go, praised the school’s handling of the situation.

She said: “After attending Monday night’s meeting at the school we are absolutely delighted with the outcome.

“Both my husband and myself found this extremely reassuring and think the reasons for cancelling the trip are well founded and justified for the students safety and their enjoyment. To find out we will be issued with a full refund is news that we didn’t think we would hear so we really can’t praise English Martyrs school enough.”