SCHOOL pupils who have been stranded in the USA were due back today after the science trip that ran an estimated £15,000 over budget.
The group of 25 year nine and 10 children and four staff from Salendine Nook High School went to Florida as part of a physics field trip that was due to last a week.
But they racked up the extra costs after the volcanic ash cloud chaos forced them to extend their stay.
Speaking from Houston airport in Texas yesterday, party leader Laura Hale said: “We’re all exhausted, but happy to be on the way home.
“Most of the kids have coped very bravely but there have been a few tears and they have all missed their parents.’’
The party had booked seven nights at Disney World while they experienced the high-tech science behind world-famous sites including NASA and Universal Studios.
But they found out on Saturday that their scheduled flight home on Sunday would not be taking off.
They spent a further four nights at Disney World before being told they would be able to get on a flight to Heathrow from Houston yesterday evening. The plane was due to land at 5am today.
Miss Hale added: “We’ve all got a few more grey hairs. It has been very stressful – not knowing when we would be coming home has been the worst thing.
“Making sure the children were happy has been the priority.”
Andrew Foster, associate headteacher at the New Hey Road school, said he was hopeful the school’s insurance would cover the extra costs.
“The whole thing has been a bit of a worry,’’ he said. “I’ll be happy when they’re all back at school.”