A group of teachers were slammed by parents today after taking money from pupils on a school trip - to spend on alcohol.
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Staff from Bishop Stortford High School took €5 from each pupil's wallet or purse to put into an alcohol 'kitty' while on a trip to France.
They then bought themselves a selection of alcohol as a 'reward' for looking after the 137 Year Seven pupils.
The 11-year-old boys only realised what had happened when the 12 teachers passed bottles among themselves on the journey home and thanked them for their 'gifts'.
After checking their wallets the pupils - who were on a trip to activity camp Club Correze in southern France - discovered they were each €5 short.
Headteacher Andrew Goulding has now vowed to refund all of the pupils and urged parents to 'draw a line' under the episode.
In a letter to parents he said: 'This is clearly a practice I cannot condone and the matter has been dealt with internally within the school.
'I have not taken this matter lightly and the school will of course refund the sum of €5 to each parent who wishes us to do so.'
But angry parents are calling for tougher action against the teachers involved.
One mum, who did not want to be named, said that spending the money amounted to theft.
She said: 'Some families only sent their kids off with €20 to begin with, so €5 is quite a big chunk out of that.
'It's not so much the amount of money as the principle - they took our children's money without their knowledge or consent, and I don't think that's right.'
Mr Goulding had previously tried to argue that his teachers 'deserve some recognition for the fact that taking students on trips is beyond the call of duty'.
But another parent - who also wishes to remain anonymous - said she was not convinced that the school had done enough to remedy the problem.
She said: 'All parents know that the cost of their son's trip does include the cost for the teacher to travel - we weren't born yesterday.
'But with that in mind teachers have a free holiday at parents' expense with the responsibility of looking after the boys.
'I would like to know what exactly dealt with internally means?'
Rodney Stock, the school's chairman of governors, said he thought the behaviour of the staff was unacceptable.
He said: 'The teachers were clearly wrong in appropriating money without the pupils' consent and we must maintain a firm line on that.
'I shall be discussing this further with the headmaster at the start of the new school year.'
Hertfordshire Police have confirmed that so far they have not received any complaints about the matter.
Bishop Stortford High School, in Hertfordshire, is a comprehensive school which has 1,100 pupils and only accepts boys up to the age of 16. It does accept girls in sixth form.
In an Ofsted report in 2008 the school was rated as an 'outstanding mathematics and computing school that determinedly seeks to offer its students a truly all-round education'.
Tags: Teachers, slammed, taking, theft, money, school, pupils, fund, alcohol, kitty, activity, camp, Club, Correze, Bishop, Stortford, High, School, school, trip
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