Mum's Anger Over School Trip
A mother has written to Education Secretary Michael Gove in fury, claiming she was forced to make a 200-mile journey to collect her daughter from a school trip because the child was caught eating chocolate.
Kerri McCann was asked to pick up Holli, 11, from the break on the Isle of Wight after the youngster wrote to her family describing how she had organised a midnight feast with three friends.
Ms McCann said staff read the letter before searching her daughter's room as if the Year 6 pupils were "running an international drug-smuggling operation''.
She received a message to call their hotel urgently on July 2, just a day after Holli set off on the end-of-term trip with classmates from Bromet Primary School in Watford, Hertfordshire.
The anxious mother picked up the phone immediately, fearing her daughter was hurt.
But she was left in disbelief when she discovered the child had simply broken the rules - by taking a Kit Kat, a Fudge bar and a Freddo on the trip and misbehaving on the beach.
Ms McCann, of Croxley Green in Rickmansworth, said headteacher Yvonne Graves asked her to collect Holli or she would be banned from participating in any activities.
As they drove home, the child explained to her mother how staff searched for the confectionery after reading her letter home.
"This was a search for chocolate but was carried out in such a manner you would have thought they were running an international drug-smuggling operation from their hotel room,'' Ms McCann told the Watford Observer.
"I am still in shock... Holli said she was really upset because they emptied her toiletry bag into the sink and pulled out the lining in her suitcase. She was very upset for a few days after coming back.''
Ms McCann has accepted Holli's behaviour was wrong but branded the school's handling of the situation disgraceful.
The angry mother saved for six months to afford the £300 holiday and £100 worth of equipment. She said she travelled through the night to get to the Isle of Wight on a trip which cost an "absolute fortune''.
She has withdrawn Holli from the school for the rest of her final term and has written to Mr Gove.
A spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council said:
"Before the Year 6 trip to the Isle of Wight, parents and pupils were asked to sign a behaviour charter which clearly outlines how pupils should behave during the trip.
"This is to ensure that everyone can have a safe and enjoyable holiday. It was made clear that breaking any of the rules within the charter would result in parents being asked to take their child home, as was the case with this pupil.''