Mum feels ‘backed into a corner’ over expensive school trip amid coronavirus

A mum is facing losing hundreds of pounds or sending her daughter on a school ski trip to coronavirus-hit northern Italy.

Amanda Clarke's 10-year-old daughter, Amelia Taylor-Clarke, is one of the pupils from five Liverpool schools looking forward to the "holiday of a lifetime".

The Mab Lane Primary schoolgirl was looking forward to going on a ski trip to Bormio in Lombardy, which Amanda said she has "spent all year saving £750 for".

But due to coronavirus fears, Amanda, 40, said parents have been given the difficult choice of sending children abroad or risk losing half of the money paid.

The mum, from Dovecot, told the Liverpool Echo it has been "extremely hard" to save up for the trip.

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She said: "Since the news of the outbreak of the coronavirus in Italy was released, a group of mothers from Liverpool, including myself, have scrambled for a bit of hope that we would be refunded for the trip we have paid nearly £750 for.

"We fully understand about the borders needing to be closed to be eligible for a full refund, but what sort of position does that leave a parent in?"

She added: "I want all of my money back that I've saved hard for all year round for. Why should I have to lose half my money when this is going on all over the world?

"We're all trying to do as much as we can."

Liverpool's St Paul's Jnr School, St Anthony of Padua, Mab Lane Primary School, All Saints school and Emmaus school are all set to go on a ski trip on March 21.

A council spokeswoman said advice remains that travel is still allowed to these areas, but she understands if parents want to withdraw their children from going abroad.

But Amanda said she was terrified the borders would close while her daughter was away if the coronavirus situation worsens in the coming weeks, and the year six pupil would be stranded.

She said: "I believe no parent would send their 10-year-old child to a strange country where people are dying daily and the numbers are rising rapidly."

The mother-of-two said she also has a two-year-old son and fears the worst if Ameila had to come home and self-isolate from the trip.

Amanda says parents were given until Friday, March 6, to decide if they would send their children abroad.

If they chose not to, they would receive only half their money back, she said.

The council said parents would receive a partial refund.

Amanda admitted the school's "hands were tied" and they were doing all they could, as a ski company was organising the trip.

Mab Lane School was approached for a comment.

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