SOME OF Cardiff’s top independent schools have been left depleted by the travel chaos which has engulfed the UK and much of Europe.
Due to the flying restrictions which have been in place since last Friday morning because of the volcanic ash cloud, schools in Cardiff have been left without staff and pupils.
Independent schools have been adversely affected as they returned from the Easter holidays a week later than state schools.
Llandaff Cathedral School currently has six members of staff stuck at various locations around the world and have had to postpone an exchange visit from Spanish schoolchildren, who were due to arrive in Cardiff yesterday.
Stephen Morris, headmaster of the school, said: “A number of staff and pupils have been affected by these unforeseen circumstances and are awaiting flights in locations as far and as wide as California, Australia, Abu Dhabi and Jordan.
“However, we have been in regular contact with them and our staff, of whom six are affected, are e-mailing lesson plans and setting work for the pupils to ensure minimal disruption to pupils learning.
“Following a very successful exchange to Barcelona during the Easter holidays, we were due to welcome the Spanish pupils to Wales yesterday.
“As a result of the ban, the return visit has been postponed. However, we are working with the staff in Barcelona to reschedule the trip, which both schools were looking forward too.”
The ongoing disruption looks set to continue with Britain’s skies remaining a virtual no-fly zone yesterday. Limited services were running from Newcastle and Scottish airports, but no airports in the south of England or Cardiff were operating before 1am last night.
Cardiff Sixth Form and Kings Monkton School have also experienced disruption due to the closure of the vast majority of the UK’s airspace.
Vice-principal of Cardiff Sixth Form College, Lindsay Thompson, said: “We have one student from Nigeria who is struggling to get back to the UK.
“He was scheduled to be back with us for the start of term last week and he is due to take his A-levels in about a month’s time. Fingers crossed, the problems will be all sorted out by then.”
A spokesperson for Kings Monkton school said: “We have a few pupils here who have been delayed.
“We haven’t been affected too much but we’ve got two or three pupils on holiday who have been delayed. We have an extra week off more than the state schools.”
There was better news for St John’s College, which has only experienced a small amount of disruption.
Headmaster Dr David Neville said: “We haven’t really faced any disruption. The vast majority of staff are in and we are expecting the one pupil who is away to arrive in the next day or so.”
Cardiff Academy has not escaped the trouble, with one teacher currently stuck in Portugal.