THIRTY schoolchildren stranded in Florida by the volcanic ash restrictions will make their way home this weekend.
The Salendine Nook students’ enforced stay in Disney’s All Star Music resort was costing the school £3,000 a night and facing staff with a tough dilemma.
Before the restrictions were lifted the group had been offered a transfer to Houston by Continental Airlines for today to make a Sunday flight home – which the school was not inclined to accept in case the party was stranded at the airport.
The lifting of restrictions however and the threat of the insurance company not paying for the accommodation costs has resulted in the school agreeing to take the flight.
Associate headteacher Andrew Foster said: “We are going to have to move the party to Houston otherwise the airline would class it as a ‘disinclination to fly’.
“That would leave us totally on our own in trying to find flights.
“This means we will move them today.
“Another pressure that is forcing us to Houston is a cheerleading tournament on Thursday and that means they are extremely busy in Orlando.
“The teachers are unhappy about having to move the children with no guarantees but I’ve instructed them it has to be done and I’m taking responsibility for that decision.”
Continental Airlines has advised the school that the flight has priority and that providing the plane has the go-ahead to land in the UK it will definitely depart.
Mr Foster added: “Last Saturday I told the group not to fly, from what we’re hearing from the travel company we’re fortunate that Continental are still talking to us.
“As they have to go to Houston we’ll also provide a visit to the NASA museum because we don’t think they should be stuck with nothing to do.”