PARENTS of Inverkeithing Primary School pupils have been left "disgusted" and out of pocket as Ardroy have kept class trip deposits.

The outdoor education centre has had to cancel all planned school visits, including Inverkeithing's two Primary 7 classes.

The two classes were set to make their way to the Lochgoilhead facility for five days, starting on Monday next week.

Parents and carers paid £283 per child for the week but they have been told by Ardroy that the £50 deposit would not be refunded.

The decision has sparked fury among parents who have contacted the Press to vent their disgust.

Hayley Campbell, whose son was looking forward to attending, said that £50 could make a huge difference to some families during these difficult times.

She said: "Ardroy's statement is all about them and how they're in a fight for survival.

"What about the survival of these children? Some families can't afford to be £50 short. That is a lot of money right now.

"My children are going to be okay, what about other families?

"I'm not giving up without a fight on this. I think the way Ardroy have handled this has been a disgrace and their decision is very hard to swallow."

Ardroy issued a statement on Saturday morning stating that they had "no option" but to retain the deposits.

A spokesperson said: "There are now only two Ardroy staff working so, unfortunately, everything is taking much longer to progress.

"We are also now having to work from home and it has taken time to get the systems in place to do this and access our records.

"The government instruction issued (March 18) that all school trips should be cancelled, followed shortly with the decision schools should be closed as of Friday, March 20, and all non-essential travel should cease, has significantly impacted on the future of Ardroy.

"Our decision to retain deposits was not taken lightly as we realise that some families will be experiencing hardship at this time but until we can determine the full financial impact of the situation and to ensure the survival of Ardroy beyond this unforeseen, unprecedented period, we have no option but to hold to our terms and conditions that deposits are non-refundable.

"We are working extremely hard to try and find a way to return deposit payments but until we know what financial support we have secured we are not able to review this.

"We are trying our very best to find a balanced compromise within a very difficult and challenging set of circumstances arising through no fault of schools, families or Ardroy.

"We would ask for your continued patience as we cannot put a definitive timeline on providing an answer as we are reliant on other organisations responding to us."

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