Wednesday, 6 January 2010
Why was the sparsholt college coach not sent home earlier considering the severe weather warning issued by Hampshire County Council hours earlier?
The coach drove up and down the M27 unable to leave via usual junctions to deliver children safely home.
Many of the passengers are students under 18y, and as far as I'm aware they are legally wards of the college until delivered safely home by coach.
The driver was unprepared and didn't know what to do evidently (in words of one student - behaving like a muppet!).
The college it seems did not give any message to the driver as to where to drop the kids off, or how to find safe warm accommodation for the students for the night.
Gabrielle, 17y - and her friend of 16 or 17 along with some other 25 students were left at Hedge End bus depot - some 7 miles from home.
Jeremy and Gabi's friends mother tried to hike through to fetch the kids on foot (would have been a 14 mile round trip) but the police did not allow them entry onto m27 so they couldn't get to the girls. (I was at home with our other 3 children aged 7, 5 and 18 months).
Luckily another student happened to live at hedge end - so they made their way to his house and his mother kindly took them all in and they were able to change into some dry clothes and given a sofa and blankets to stay the night.
The college has since not even phoned to see if the children got to any place of safety last night or this morning.
Thank god for mobile phones or I would be beside myself with worry, I would not even know where Gabrielle was, or if she'd found accommodation for the night!
I would hope the coach driver had checked with my child and her friends that they had somewhere to stay before they were allowed to wander off into the snow/dark on their own! I know they were within civilization/houses etc - but they are children not adults yet. Gabrielle does afterall have learning difficulties albeit minor - but on the autistic spectrum (semantic pragmatic disorder).
Gabrielle is still stranded at a friends house in Hedge end with another friend - we don't know if trains are running - we might have to try trains to get her home, or alternatively stay put for a few days!!!
Jeremy's car is abandoned 2 miles away near his workplace - he had to walk home himself last night - which took over an hour in the snow. He was glad he was wearing a ski jacket!
Posted by Josie at 8:29 am