Leeds & West Yorkshire

Sickness-hit Guiseley school trip pupils back home

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Media captionPupils and parents talk about their experiences of the school trip illness

The majority of pupils and staff taken ill while on a school trip to France and Belgium have arrived back home.

Forty-six pupils and four staff from Guiseley School in Leeds became sick as they headed for a ferry back to the UK.

Paul Clayton, acting co-head of the school, said four pupils were "travelling back today" after being discharged from hospital earlier.

"We still don't know what it [the illness] was. The magnitude of the problem was huge," he said.

In total, 80 students and eight members of staff were on a World War One battlefield trip.

Mr Clayton said he was absolutely delighted to find those coming back were "all well".

"We've been talking to Public Health England, we've been liaising with the authorities in Belgium. At the moment, we still don't have a diagnosis so we can't speculate.

"The first we heard about it was on Monday afternoon when we found out some of our students - shortly before arriving at the ferry terminal at Zeebrugge - were ill on the coach and that seemed to be spreading a little. It was incredibly worrying for us and more so for the parents."

Image caption Paul Clayton, acting co-head of Guiseley School, said it was still unclear what the illness was

'Worst nightmare'

Mr Clayton said the school had sent extra staff to Belgium to help with the incident and praised their efforts.

"It is the worst nightmare for a teacher on a school trip for almost the entire cohort to fall ill. So the team out there dealt with it absolutely fantastically."

Belgian news reports said they became ill with food poisoning as their buses entered the ferry port in Zeebrugge. They were taken to seven hospitals in the area after an emergency plan was triggered.

The Red Cross was involved in the operation and those not affected were taken to a hostel.

Lisa McConville's daughter, Chanel, was one of those affected.

She said: "She was vomiting, she had headaches, she thought she was maybe experiencing a fever as well.

"She said she's still feeling weak from it all, she's lost four kilos she says.

"Even though it was a scary situation I did feel like everything was being handled. The school were really reassuring."

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