Our kids sobbed when £1k Easter school holiday was cancelled day before leaving as organiser forgot to book key detail | The Sun

DOZENS of schoolkids burst into tears after their Easter ski trips were cancelled at the last minute because the organiser forgot to book the buses.

Sixty teenagers at St Bernadette Secondary School in Bristol were due to take a coach to Claviere in Italy for a week in the mountains but the holiday was axed due to the "clerical error".

Teachers broke the news at an assembly at 5pm on Friday – less than 24 hours before they were meant to set off.

The children were fully packed and "so excited" so were completely gutted.

Furious parents say they had been saving up for almost two years to afford the £955 trip, which has cost well over £1,000 after buying the required equipment.

Alison Birkett, whose 15-year-old son was meant to be on the Easter getaway, said: "On Friday afternoon, the students were called into the school hall to be told the trip was off.


Easter holidays forecast revealed as Met Office reveals weather for next 5 days

Easter hol chaos with kids sick after being stuck for 12 hours at Dover

"Kids were crying, they were so upset. I feel so sorry for them.

"They survived a pandemic and this was their light at the end of the tunnel. 

"To be given this news at the last minute is shocking. Shame on the company.

"They had one job – book the bl**** bus."

Most read in The Sun


Paul O'Grady's daughter, 48, breaks silence on icon's tragic death


Amanda has been living a TV lie, says wife of Yorkshire Shepherdess' lover


Gino D’Acampo caught with cannabis as he flew into UK with Gordon & Fred


Paul O'Grady's multi-million fortune revealed after husband shares last photo

Alison said several mums and dads had organised their own breaks while their children were away but now face having to pay hiked Easter prices for their child to join them or cancelling to stay at home to look after them.

"It's been two years in the planning and parents have been paying this holiday off for months, as well as their own," she added.

"This is an inner city school, not a rich public school. We've all saved up to send our kids on this.

"We'd all bought salopettes, goggles, helmets and everything. Bags were packed and they were all ready to go.

"These checks should have been made months ago."

Dad George Laing, who is self-employed and has a son in year 10, agreed that the situation was "terrible for everyone".

"It is really, really bad," he added. "The whole thing is so shoddy.

"My son is absolutely devastated. He'd been so looking forward to the trip for 18 months. It's crushed him.

"It cost more than £1,000 with all the extras and I have a really horrible feeling that we won't get our money back."

Kids were crying, they were so upset. I feel so sorry for them.

Claire Ryan, mum to twins Jack and Ellis in year nine, is also worried about her finances and the refund they've been promised from Halsbury Travel Group.

"The trip itself was just under £1,000 per student and with a set of twins and all the ski kit that will now not be used, along with the lessons I've paid for to prep them for the slopes, it has been a very costly 18 months," she said.

"I can’t even send things back as I started buying last year to spread the cost and most companies only give you a month to return unused items.

"I am gutted for them, their friends, the teachers and all the other schools affected by the incompetence of a travel company that failed to book the travel."

Several other schools have also had Easter ski trips to Italy, booked by the same firm, called off due to the coach mix-up.

Sir Thomas Rich's School in Gloucester told pupils yesterday lunchtime that their bus, due to leave at 10.30am today, wouldn't be turning up so the holiday was cancelled.

And 65 students at Chulmleigh College in Devon received the same news about their vacation to Sestriere, also due to begin today.

Those at Hillview School For Girls in Tonbridge, Kent, only found out this afternoon – 20 minutes before they were supposed to depart.

Paul Mansfield said: "Shame on Halsbury for cancelling the holiday at 1.25pm when the coach should have been leaving at 1.45pm."

Mum Isla Hill added: "Teachers were left standing in the road waiting for the coaches that never arrived.

"I arrived to collect my heartbroken daughter to see teachers and students crying and bewildered. It's a total fiasco."


While a mum, whose son goes to Chulmleigh, said: "We've been offered full refunds plus compensation, but that is of no consolation to the 65 students who have been looking forward to this for three years."

Chenderit School in Banbury, Oxfordshire, and others in Halifax and Huddersfield were also impacted in the last 24 hours.

Jenny Urquhart's nephew had carefully laid out his ski gear on his bedroom floor ready to put in his suitcase.

She said: "Christmas and birthday presents were all his ski kit. He'd been looking forward to it for 14 months.

"Everyone is so upset. My sister said he can barely speak he's so gutted.

"It was the first and possibly only ski strip for many kids."

Halsbury Travel Group, which specialises in school trips, blamed "personnel changes".

CEO Robin Parry said in a letter to mums and dads: "We apologise unreservedly for having to make the extremely difficult decision to cancel your child’s school trip.

"The coach was booked provisionally for your trip, however, due to personnel changes, a mistake was made and the booking was incorrectly marked as confirmed. 

"Unfortunately, despite our very best efforts and due to it being peak season, we have been unable to secure an alternative coach for your child’s school trip.

"We understand how upset both students and teachers will be at having their trip cancelled at such late notice.

"We would also like to clarify that no blame lies with the school and that the booking was made and accepted in good faith from both parties.

Read More on The Sun

Fashion fans flock to Primark for Birkenstock dupes that are almost £60 cheaper

I’m an interior designer – the six bedroom rules you should stick to

"We are taking full responsibility for the mistake and, once again, apologise unreservedly."

The company has offered a full refund plus an additional 50 per cent.

Source: Read Full Article