A headteacher has praised his pupils’ reaction after an illegal immigrant was discovered travelling under the school bus during a journey back from a school trip to France.
Perry Beeches Academy’s executive headteacher Liam Nolan said the Year 9 pupils, who had been on a trip to Normandy, showed compassion for the Sudanese man when he was discovered as the coach pulled up outside the Birmingham school.
Mr Nolan said teachers were off the bus and students had started to get off when the man “stumbled out” from under the bus.
Staff looked after him until the West Midlands Police were called and he was taken into their care.
The pupils and teachers completed strict immigration checks in Calais and the bus had been searched, but the man had still managed to get underneath it. He clung to the axle for the 250-mile trip to Birmingham.
Mr Nolan said: “Not many students saw the man but the bulk of them were worried about his health and safety.
“They were concerned about why anyone would risk being under a bus for five or six hours and what his life must have been like if he was willing to do that.
“Myself and the school’s headteacher Stuart Turnbull held an assembly on Monday morning to talk about Sudan. We talked about where it was in the world so they could see where he had travelled from and why.
“I have to say, regardless of what people think about young people these days . . . they were all very empathetic.”
A 35-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of immigration offences and is in the custody of UK Border Force officials.