Camden teachers and pupils stranded by volcanic ash

HUNDREDS of teachers and schoolchildren from north London have been stranded all over the world after a cloud of volcanic ash led to aeroplanes being grounded. Although schools are due to go back this week for the start of the summer ter

Charlotte Newton

HUNDREDS of teachers and schoolchildren from north London have been stranded all over the world after a cloud of volcanic ash led to aeroplanes being grounded.

Although schools are due to go back this week for the start of the summer term, there will be notable staff and pupil absences as hundreds of people remain stuck overseas.

More than 30 children from the Highgate School are stranded in Greece and Germany after their return flights were grounded. A further 20 members of the 150 staff at the school are also still abroad in destinations ranging from Singapore, Australia, South Africa, New York to Europe.


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Adam Pettitt, headteacher at the Highgate School, said: "We're confident of being able to open as usual on Wednesday, although there will be some inevitable disruption with staff absent, and priority will be given to ensuring exam classes are taught by specialists. Parents should keep an eye on the website for updates as and when."

Planes were first grounded in the UK and across Europe last Thursday - amid concerns that particles in an ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull - could cause plane engines to fail.

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A spokeswoman for Camden Council said: "A few local schools have had their classes disrupted by staff absent because of flights being cancelled due to the volcanic ash cloud over Europe.

"No schools have closed so far but Kingsgate School's nursery has had to close for this week.

"Parents should contact their child's school or nursery for more details."

For the full story and tales of treacherous journeys home, see the Ham&High on Thursday.

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