Norfolk schools forced to pull out of Kenya visit after officials’ warnings

Students on a recent visit to Kenya. Students on a recent visit to Kenya.

Monday, June 9, 2014
1:18 PM

All four Norfolk schools due to go on an annual trip to Kenya have pulled out of the visit as officials have issued fresh warnings to travellers.

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A party made up of students and teachers from Cliff Park Ormiston Academy in Gorleston, Ormiston Victory Academy in Norwich and Acle Academy was due to leave for Africa later this month.

But after the Foreign and Commonwealth Office updated its advice to travellers, following further unrest, they have made the “difficult” decision to withdraw from the visit.

Flegg High School in Martham, the fourth school involved, had already pulled out.

A spate of grenade, bomb and armed attacks have rocked Kenya in recent months and the Foreign Office has warned further terrorist attacks are likely.

In a joint statement Ormiston Victory and Cliff Park announced they were withdrawing from the trip, which has been running for the last eight years.

Naomi Palmer, principal at Victory, said: “We have taken this difficult decision in consultation with Ormiston Academies Trust and the Ormiston Trust.

“The welfare of students must always be our priority.”

Mrs Palmer thanked students and staff for their fundraising and their commitment to the visit, which works with children in Kenya.

Rob Sherington, principal at Cliff Park, added: “Our students and families have worked tirelessly over the past eight months in preparation for this trip that has made such a significant difference to the lives of young children in our partner schools in Kenya.

“We are disappointed that events beyond our control have left us with no
choice.”

Parents, staff and teachers at Acle made the decision to pull out.

Headteacher Tim Phillips said it had been an “extremely difficult” decision.

Simon Fox, principal at Flegg High, said 10 children from his school were due to fly out but none of the parents were happy with them going.

He added: “We just supported the parents and allowed them to make the decision.”

Do you have a school story? Email lucy.clapham@archant.co.uk.

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