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Parents criticise Sprites Primary School for going ahead with trip to Dinosaur Land during Storm Doris

PUBLISHED: 19:30 24 February 2017 | UPDATED: 19:39 24 February 2017

Pupils from Sprites Primary School were on a trip to Dinosaur Adventure in Norfolk on Thursday when Storm Doris passed over East Anglia. Picture: JO MALONE

Pupils from Sprites Primary School were on a trip to Dinosaur Adventure in Norfolk on Thursday when Storm Doris passed over East Anglia. Picture: JO MALONE

Archant

Parents have criticised the decision of an Ipswich school to go-ahead with a trip to a theme park despite the threat of an amber weather warning after claims a tree fell onto a slide the children were playing on.

Sprites Primary School in Ipswich. Picutre: PHIL MORLEYSprites Primary School in Ipswich. Picutre: PHIL MORLEY

Reception pupils from Sprites Primary School were at Dinosaur Adventure in Lenwade near Norwich when Storm Doris hit.

Forecasters had warned winds could reach speeds up to 70mph, and an amber weather warning was in place but the trip went ahead as planned.

One parent who went along as a helper described how children were playing on a slide when a tree came down.

“We were told they could play in the play area and the children ran over to the main attraction which is a dinosaur with slides coming out of it,” she said.

“They climbed up the steps inside and within seconds we heard a cracking noise. This tree fell and it hit the slide while the children were on it.”

The woman said many of the children were crying, but she praised the actions of teachers who quickly removed them from the area.

A statement from the school, part of the REAch2 Academy Trust, said: “The children were in the play area but were not in the vicinity where the tree fell and none of them were harmed by the tree falling. They were not in harm’s way and not in danger.”

The school sent a letter home with pupils that evening explaining what had happened and held a follow up meeting during which the mum, who asked not to be named, said the headteacher apologised.

“I accept his apology however the trip shouldn’t have taken place. It was the wrong decision to make,” she said.

Another parent, who also wanted to remain anonymous, said: “We got a letter to say the tree had fallen near the children. It is extremely lucky one of those children was not injured.

“I’m not happy. I don’t quite understand the logic of why they did what they did. The children are only four and five.”

The school spokesman added: “Prior to the trip, we considered carefully whether the trip should go ahead, given the adverse weather conditions. Dinosaur Land had undertaken a detailed risk assessment and had deemed it safe to open the theme park.”

A spokesman for Dinosaur Adventure said they could not comment today.

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