Norfolk schools will keep Kenya date despite danger alert

Cherry Crowley has organised the trip. Photo: Denise Bradley Cherry Crowley has organised the trip. Photo: Denise Bradley

Monday, June 2, 2014
7:46 AM

Dozens of students from three Norfolk schools are still going on an annual trip to Kenya, despite warnings from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office not to travel to many parts of the country unless it was essential.

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

The schools involved are Cliff Park Ormiston Academy in Gorleston, Acle Academy and Ormiston Victory Academy in Norwich. Flegg High School in Martham has pulled out of the trip, due to concerns.

The party of 50 including 41 students and nine staff will leave London for the Kenyan capital, Nairobi on a British Airways scheduled flight next month.

It comes after hundreds of British tourists have been evacuated from Kenya and Thomson and First Choice have cancelled all flights up to the end of October.

Unrest in the country has led to terrorism threats and a spate of grenade, bomb and armed attacks.

The 10-day trip is organised by Cherry Crowley, a former headteacher of Flegg High School, who said they were complying with all Foreign Office advice in making the trip.

She said they had changed the itinerary to avoid going near one of the trouble spots.

She said: “The Foreign Office advice makes it absolutely clear that there are certain areas, around Mombasa, Eastleigh in Nairobi, and on the Somali border, where you should not go. We don’t go anywhere near those places.”

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said the authority had been informed of the trip, and they had steered the organisers to the Foreign Office warnings.

But she added that as all three schools were academies, the council could not have prevented the trip, if it had wanted to.

Naomi Palmer, principal of Ormiston Victory, said parents had been given as much information as possible about the trip, and the situation in Kenya.

She said that only one family had been so concerned about the situation that they had pulled their children out of the trip.

Meanwhile, an anonymous businessman who is returning from Kenya due to the current situation, has expressed “surprise and alarm” that the schools were still travelling there.

He said: “I would have expected the institutions’ custodians and organisers to have properly researched their project and, in the light of recent UK and foreign government warnings of imminent terror attacks, to have cancelled their arrangements or amended their country of destination.

“Kenya is not a country to which I would endorse a school visit at the present time. I am currently in the process of modifying my own interests in the area as a direct result of the continuing and intensifying atrocities, together with the ongoing multi-governmental intelligence reports indicating an imminent terror attack.”

The schools’ exact itinerary during the trip has not been revealed, but last year students from Acle High School took much-needed supplies to their partner primary schools in Kenya, where they met and worked with pupils in Nairobi.

The South Walsham Road school has flown a group of students to Kenya for several years. In 2012 they went laden with knitted bonnets to help keep the Nairobi locals warm in winter.

see the Foreign Office advice below

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kenya

Are you a parent of a child going on the trip? Would you like to comment? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

11 comments

  • Kenya's no more dangerous than Yarmouth on a Friday night. Just give the teachers and staff ak 47's and you'll be fine.

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    Z:)

    Sunday, June 8, 2014

  • This trip to Kenya is now in doubt leaving my child with a debt of £650 ,they were paying their own way by babysitting ,car washing ,cake sales and other fund raising methods , on this particular day it is a good job that Winston Churchill was ready to take a risk to defeat tyranny.

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    lam77

    Friday, June 6, 2014

  • OFF TOPIC. WHY HAVE THE COMMENTS ABOUT THE ALLIANCE BETWEEN LABOUT AND THE CONS BEEN REMOVED ?. GETTING TOO HOT WAS IT ARCHANT, OR DID SOMEONE LEAN ON YOU ?

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    "V"

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • As a concerned older sister of one of the pupils from Acle high supposedly going, I have been going to all the meetings at the school. The last one I went to was about two weeks ago where I finally got to meet Crowley. The meeting was held a day or so after the market bombings in Nairobi. Like a lot of people at the meetings, money was second for us. The change in itinerary didn't stop them having a tour of Nairobi still and they also travelled only two miles away from Eastleigh. I don't want my sister going, or any of them. Crowley is going with them but in my opinion I don't think safety is being taken seriously. A group of western girls on a school trip are in my opinion a prime target for an opportunist.

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    emma_penelope

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • What next? Crowley's Coach Tours of Afghanistan and Somalia?

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    wes1975

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • I've spent a fair chunk of my seventy years working and travelling in Africa. I'd travel back there again tomorrow by myself; I would not take my teenaged grandsons with me. There is a romance associated with Africa - 'The Cradle of Civilisation' - 'Nelson Mandela' - 'Meryl Streep in out of Africa' - and it's all true but it is not like that on the ground today nor a place for groups of schoolchildren at this time. I'm absolutely amazed that schools are considering the trip and that parents are allowing it - and I note the Norfolk CC bodyswerve - shame on them. OK - the trip's been made before - so what - do you keep doing it until there is an incident? And finally - If you know so little about the security situation on the ground (for anywhere you intend to visit) that you have to 'phone up' a government office to find out what it's like - forget it - don't go - and most certainly don't take children. And finally finally - well done to the one family who've cancelled the trip for their children - it's tougher sometimes being in a minority of one than going with the flow - the king really isn't wearing any clothes!

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    wallywalnut

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • Come on EDP. Interview Crowley again and find out what she has got to say about Canary Boy's findings.

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    "V"

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • This is the Kuoni information again pasted from their website:- Friday 30 May 2014 Mombasa, Kenya Following a period of unrest in Mombasa the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) have changed their advice for Kenya to advise against all but essential travel to Mombasa island and within 5km of the coast from Mtwapa creek in the north to Tiwi in the South. Although the advice does not include Moi International Airport, Diani beach or Malindi, the main road to access these resorts goes through the restricted area defined by the FCO advice. This means that at this time we are unable to offer holidays to the Kenyan coast. Kuoni’s policy Any customers that are departing from the UK within the next three weeks, with an itinerary that includes the Kenyan coast, are able to cancel free of charge or amend to an alternative destination with no administration fee but at the applicable cost. Our Operations team will be contacting any customers whose holidays are affected within this date range and this will continue on a rolling basis until the FCO advice changes. Kuoni will continue to monitor the situation working closely with the FCO, ABTA and our ground agents in resort.

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    Canary Boy

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • Hayes and Jarvis holidays show this information pasted from their website. They point out their hotels are not in Mombasa Island but obviously the risk to their customers is considered to much of a liability for the company to ignore. Kenya FCO advice change: Kenya - Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice change. Updated 19th May 2014. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is now advising against all but essential travel to Mombasa island in Kenya. Although our hotels are not based on Mombasa Island, in order to get to your chosen hotel you have to travel through Mombasa Island. Hayes and Jarvis work closely with the foreign office at all times, and as a result of the change in FCO advice, the decision has been made to withdraw Mombasa from our programme whilst the advise remains as against travel. For anyone due to travel from now until 30th June: All passengers travelling during this period to Mombasa can either cancel free of charge or amend to an alternative destination with no administration fee but at any further, applicable costs. You will be contacted by one of our Operations team to discuss your options regarding your holiday, this is being done in departure date order. For anyone travelling after the 30th June – 31st October: Thomson Airways have cancelled their flights up until the 31st October, therefore our Operations team will be contacting you in departure date order and you can either cancel your holiday free of charge or amend to an alternative destination with no administration fee but at any further, applicable costs.

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    Canary Boy

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • The organiser of this trip has just told Conrad, radio Norfolk, that if they postpone or cancel this trip no one will get their money back! First priority financial is it? No travel insurance taken then?? As the foreign office advise against all but essential travel plus Thomson and First Choice holiday companies consider the area to dangerous to send their customers to I consider it gross neg.ligence to send school children there. I would like to know when this trip was booked was it before the dangerous unrest and foreign office warnings, in which case travel insurance would cover cancellation, or after the warnings were issued in which case gross neg.ligence is without question. NCC apparently have no say? Do the parents of children attending Academy status schools realise that the County Authority can wipe its hands and shrug off any responsibility for the health and safety of pupils attending the schools? Mind as a parent, and granparent, regardless of financial loss, I would not allow my child to go. If the teachers and organisers wish to put their own necks on the line that is up to them BUT if any of these children are placed into a dan.gerous situation both the schools and NCC, for their lack of interest, will be held acc.ountable.

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    Canary Boy

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • I take it that Crowley will be risking her life by going as well ?. No !. Thought not.

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    "V"

    Monday, June 2, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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