French strike hits West Norfolk students on annual trip

Marshland High School, West Walton

Marshland High School, West Walton - Credit: Archant

A group of Fenland school students returned home late last night after being trapped in France for an extra 24 hours following a strike by French ferry workers which closed the port of Calais.

The 34 Y8 and Y9 students were on a cultural trip from Marshland High School in West Walton when they became embroiled in the traffic chaos caused by the strike, which also closed the Eurotunnel.

Bettina Marshall, the school’s business manager responsible for organising educational trips, praised the four staff accompanying the children aged 13 and 14 and said they did a great job ensuring the pupils were safe and as comfortable as possible.

Anxious parents were kept up to date by regular text messaging.

Mrs Marshall said the staff were all extremely experienced and managed to secure overnight accommodation for the unexpected extra night in France before organising a ferry crossing from Dunkirk late yesterday (Tuesday).

The pupils who were originally on a four day trip staying in Rue, northern France, finally arrived home just after 10pm last night.

Mrs Marshall said: “The pupils were all extremely well behaved and were not concerned by their delayed return home but I think the parents were glad to have them back.”