Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Parents' Surprise as Refugees Arrive by Bus at School Site

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Parents' Surprise as Refugees Arrive by Bus at School Site

Article excerpt

Byline: Ian Johnson, David Huntley and Sarah Dale

PARENTS have expressed surprise after a bus carrying Syrian refugees arrived at their children's school.

A building on an Ormesby primary school's grounds is being used as a welcome centre, it emerged yesterday.

Staff at Overfields Primary School said the packed bus arrived yesterday afternoon at an empty Redcar and Cleveland Council building on the Daisy Lane site.

It came on the same day the authority approved plans to allow 125 Syrian refugees a year to move into the area.

It forms part of wider proposals drawn up last year to welcome up to 500 Syrian families to Teesside who have fled the war-torn country.

Authorities confirmed the families were being greeted at the centre.

It is not known whether they are the first Syrian refugees to arrive on Teesside. A Redcar and Cleveland spokeswoman said: "The refugees were attending a welcome event, which included an introduction to the area, before being taken to their homes."

Alison Ker, who is working at the site, said yesterday: "It is just a registration centre and they will be leaving tonight."

She added those at the site had just flown into the UK but declined to give details over where they would be based.

Parents told of their shock at the school gates as the bus arrived while they were picking up their children.

One told The Gazette: "My kids attend Over-fields Primary School and within school grounds there is an unused building. As we picked our kids up you could imagine our surprise when we saw the full bus. I've tried contacting the school headmistress and council but nothing has been said."

However Overfields headteacher Tracy Watson told The Gazette she was as much in the dark about the arrival as parents.

"It is not anything to do with the school," she said. …

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