Belgium terrorism fears prompt school trip cancellations

The Ancre Somme Association in Scotland has expressed disappointment over the decision. Picture: supplied
The Ancre Somme Association in Scotland has expressed disappointment over the decision. Picture: supplied
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LOTHIAN pupils have been pulled out of a school trip to First World War battlefields in Belgium amid parent fears over international terrorism.

Education bosses in West Lothian said senior staff at Balbardie Primary, Bathgate, had decided that pupils would not participate following a consultation with families.

Government officials have said the terror threat in Belgium is “high”.

However, it is understood other schools in West Lothian will take part.

Tommy Davidson, who represents Ancre Somme Association Scotland, said: “Our Association is extremely disappointed and saddened that Scotland’s children will miss the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

“Thousands of Scots were slaughtered on the first of July, 1916. It’s important in today’s world, children and adults learn the reality of war.

“Books, stories and videos don’t have the same impact as a life experience visit to the trenches, war graves, cemeteries and memorials dedicated to the fallen.”

Warning travellers to be vigilant, an online advice note on Belgium from the UK Government says: “There is a high threat from terrorism.

“Attacks could be indiscriminate, including on public transport and transport hubs and in other places visited by foreigners.

“Brussels hosts a number of international institutions (EU and NATO) and government and foreign embassy buildings which are sensitive locations.

“There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria.”

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