School trips under scrutiny following terror attacks

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Schools in West Sussex have been urged to ‘stay alert but calm and treat school visits carefully’ following the terror attacks in London and Manchester.

Already one school - Storrington First School - has cancelled a trip to the Science Museum in London after parents’ fears for their children’s safety.

Storrington First School, West Sussex SUS-170616-095418001

Storrington First School, West Sussex SUS-170616-095418001

Now West Sussex County Council has written to all schools urging them to review risk assessments ‘focusing on the basics of safety.’

A spokesman said: “We are not advising schools to cancel planned visits, this is a decision for individual schools as it would be at any other time once thorough risk assessment has been completed.

“We have also reinforced the need to be extra vigilant to anything unusual on either school premises or in the community.”

Marion Smith, headteacher of Storrington First School, wrote to parents last week informing that a planned trip to the Science Museum had been scrapped after a number of parents wanted to pull their children out of the visit.

In a letter to parents, she said that so many parents did not want their children to go that the trip was no longer viable.

“This is a real shame, but we have listened to your feedback and are sympathetic to the concerns raised,” she said.

Meanwhile, county director of education Deborah Myers, in a letter sent to the heads of all schools in West Sussex, urged staff and pupils to be “extra vigilant to anything unusual on either school premises or in the community and I would like to reinforce my previous advice of asking all visitors to present appropriate ID.”

She said that all school trips should be ‘fully risk assessed’ and added: “Do not be afraid to reconsider the trip if you feel uncomfortable about it proceeding.

“You may need to be mindful that for trips involving visits to London and key landmarks, some parents may wish to withdraw their children and provision will then need to be made for them to remain at school and be supervised.”