Page last updated at 10:59 GMT, Monday, 19 April 2010 11:59 UK

Extended holiday for stranded Gloucestershire pupils

Cheltenham Ladies' Collge
A third of pupils at Cheltenham Ladies' College are unable to return

Dozens of Gloucestershire teachers and pupils have missed the start of the new term after being stranded abroad by the volcanic ash air crisis.

Nearly a third of the 870 girls and about six teachers at Cheltenham Ladies' College are stuck overseas as UK flights continue to be grounded.

About 30 youngsters and four staff from Pate's Grammar School in Cheltenham are unable to return from holidays.

Tewkesbury School has 28 pupils and 12 staff stranded.

Twenty pupils and seven staff from Stroud High School are stuck abroad.

John Reilly, headmaster of Tewkesbury School said three six formers on a German exchange trip were among those having to return by land and sea.

"The sixth formers and a member of staff will take a train to Dunkirk. Our caretaker is taking the school bus to meet them and will bring them back this evening," he said.

Schools are managing their own absences of teachers and support staff, using supply staff where necessary
Jo Grills, Gloucestershire County Council

Cheltenham Ladies' College said international baccalaureate exams were due to start in two weeks and they were very concerned for those girls unable to return.

The school said it had been in touch with exam boards.

Jo Grills, director of learning and development at Gloucestershire County Council, said: "Schools are managing their own absences of teachers and support staff, using supply staff where necessary.

"No schools have had to close due to staff shortages."

Pupils' absences due to the cancelled flights will be recorded as authorised absences.

The ban on flights in English airspace has been extended until 0900 BST on Tuesday.

A spokesman for traffic control body Nats said experts were assessing the danger from a new cloud of volcanic ash.

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