Headteacher speaks out after 48 children struck by virus on Easter trip return home

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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THE headteacher of a college where children were struck down with a mystery virus while on a trip to the United States has spoken of her ‘relief’ after they all returned home safely.

Fears over the health of pupils and staff from Crookhorn College in Waterlooville were allayed after they suffered a gastrointestinal virus on an Easter holiday trip to New York and Washington DC.

Pupils arriving back to Crookhorn College in Stakes Hill Road, Waterlooville. ''''Picture:  Malcolm Wells

Pupils arriving back to Crookhorn College in Stakes Hill Road, Waterlooville. ''''Picture: Malcolm Wells

Three teachers and 48 students set off on the trip on March 29 before they fell ill and were taken to four different US hospitals – living parents with an anxious wait as their children were monitored thousands of miles away.

A coach arrived at the college just after 9.15am this morning, with a team of staff unloading suitcases from the vehicle into the school.

Speaking outside the school, headteacher Sarah Bennett told The News: ‘Obviously we are all extremely relieved that all the children have returned home safely to their families.

‘Our priority is for the children to recuperate quietly at home during the rest of the Easter break ready for their return to school.

‘I would to thank the staff who looked after the children so well on the trip and had to deal with some extremely challenging circumstances. I would also like to thank the parents for their support and understanding at this difficult time and also Hampshire County Council over what has been a very difficult weekend.’