School staff in the clear over rail safety incident

6th April 2001 at 01:00
A JURY took just 10 minutes to clear a teacher and school governor of risking pupils' lives by leading them along a railway line during a field trip to Cumbria. Parent governor Philip Ramsden and teacher Melanie Rankin, of Fairway primary in Stockport, were charged with endangering safety after a railway driver saw pupils apparently on the line. Headteacher Lyn Boyle was cleared of aiding and abetting. The defendants told Preston Crown Court they had believed the route was authorised. Gates to the track had been open and carried no warning signs. The children were ordered to sit down as a train approached. Mr Ramsden said afterwards the case should never have been brought. The gates have since been locked.

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