Mum’s fury over blizzard walk

A mother was disgusted when her teenage daughter was left to walk home alone in the snow at midnight following a school trip.

Debbie Skellern, of Chapel Lane, Middleton, was shocked to find teachers from Anthony Gell School, in Wirksworth, had left her 15–year–old daughter Victoria to make her own way home during a blizzard on Thursday night.

The coach, which had taken Victoria and her fellow students to Sheffield to see Blood Brothers was delayed, and aware of this, Debbie had started to walk down to Wirksworth to meet her daughter shortly before midnight.

“When I met her it was just herself there and one of her friends,” she said. “There were no teachers they. They said they had left them at midnight because they had to go home themselves. I was disgusted.”

She said that staff had asked how the girls were getting home and they said they were walking, but no effort was made to find how far they had to go.

“It was blizzard conditions. In today’s age I think to myself for two girls to be left without any supervision or knowing where they live is irresponsible,” Debbie continued.

David Baker, head teacher at Anthony Gell, said: “When the children arrived back at 11.45pm the members of staff were checking with each group of children what their arrangements were for getting home. Some live in Wirksworth and their parents were happy for them to walk home.

“The student involved assured my member of staff they were able to walk home.

“It brings in the question at what age of you trust a child to say they can go home by themselves.”

He admitted that the members of staff did not know where every student lived and said that in order to prevent the situation arising in the future he had already started to make amendments to parents’ permission slips so that they contained more detail.