Fife high school trip cancelled because of terror concerns

A parent from Bell Baxter High School is distressed about a school trip abroad and not because of the potential risks but because it has been cancelled.

Friday, 6th May 2016, 10:05 am
Updated Friday, 6th May 2016, 11:02 am

Peter Maskell is trying to lobby the high school to reverse its decision to cancel a First World War battlefields tour due to the “risks associated with terrorism”.

Carolyn Burgoyne, curriculum leader, wrote to parents informing them it had been cancelled.

She said: “Due to recent terrorist related events in both France and Belgium, it is with regret that we have decided not to go ahead with the proposed battlefield trip. This decision has not been taken lightly but after due thought and consideration for all concerned.”

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Mr Maskell was disappointed to be told of the cancellation without any parent consultation.

He said: “My daughter was especially looking forward to this trip which I feel would have allowed her to understand the effect that conflict has on human society.”

Although he understands the concerns of risk he questioned if the same logic would lead to the cancellation of school trips to other areas of risk such as London, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The school claimed they had received concerns from other parents.

Shelagh Mclean, head of education and children’s services, said: “Decisions are made about school trips on a school-by-school basis, with relevant risk assessments being carried out.

‘‘These are discussed with the teachers volunteering to attend, and parents.

‘‘We accept the decision that cancelling the excursion is appropriate at this time.

‘‘ It is disappointing that this decision had to be made, as it is a long standing annual trip for the school.

‘‘However, the school has a duty to consider any concerns raised by parents and staff. As with all schools, we’ll continue to assess school trip plans on an individual basis.

‘‘There are other Fife schools that will be visiting the area this year.”