Skye pupils home safely after Calais bus incident

portree ski pupils

This picture from the PHS Facebook site shows the pupils in Italy during their ski trip

A bus carrying a party of pupils from Portree High School was attacked en route to a cross channel ferry at Calais at the weekend.

On its approach to the French ferry port in the early hours of Sunday morning the coach, in which 35 S2-S6 pupils and seven adults were travelling, was caught up in a clash involving police and migrants housed in nearby camps.

An outer window of double glazing on the coach was broken, but the vehicle was deemed safe to continue its journey. Most of the passengers on the coach had been asleep, but were woken by the drama going on outside.

The incident was reported to the police and border control at Calais.

The pupils had been returning from a week-long ski-trip to the Italian resort of Aosta.

Portree High School Head Teacher Catherine MacDonald – who was there to meet the pupils when they arrived back on Skye on Sunday evening – added: “Everyone has returned home safe and sound from what was a fantastic ski trip with snowsports certificates under their belts. No one was injured as a result of the incident at Calais which was efficiently dealt with by our coach operator.”

Bill Alexander, Highland Council’s Director of Care and Learning, said: “We were alerted to the incident yesterday and parents were informed. This was an unfortunate episode to the end of what was otherwise a very successful school ski trip. All those on the trip have returned safely.”

Thousands of mostly African and Middle Eastern migrants – seeking a route to the UK – are now housed in camps which have sprung up in and around Calais in recent years.