13/04/2010 14:24 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Heroic Teachers Fight Off Armed Stowaways On School Trip

43 pupils, aged 15 and 16, from Annan Academy in Scotland, were returning from a school trip when they witnessed dramatic scenes as their coach stopped to refuel outside Calais.

Their teachers are now being hailed as heroes after scaring off several armed illegal immigrants desperately trying to hide aboard the school bus in order to get into Britain.

The men were spotted attempting to climb into the vehicle's luggage compartment. While three teachers confronted the immigrants, another two stayed aboard the bus to calm the students and call the police.

One witness said 'The teachers kept on telling them to go away and the police were called. I don't think they were expecting to be confronted they way they were. After that, the gang seemed to calm down and actually apologised.'

'There were three of them initially trying to get in and there were another 15 or 20 of them waiting in the bushes. The teachers took no chances and pulled one of them out of the boot and away from the bus.'

'One of the gang pulled out a knife and another had a piece of wood. One was threatening to spray a fire extinguisher in the teachers 'faces'.

Head teacher Frank Davis praised his staff for their actions saying, 'The teachers who were on the trip are very, very experienced and were able to sort out the situation with there being no risk to the pupils on the coach.'

'At no point did they feel under threat. The young people were kept on the bus and they were safe at all times.'

He added, 'I think they are able to be very proud of the action they took. They were vigilant and on the ball. When a teacher "puts on a uniform", a defence mechanism kicks in allowing them to deal with anything thrown their way. It's only later that they worry about the danger they might have been in.'

Despite previous incidents of school buses being targeted by immigrants trying to get into the country, a spokesman for the bus company, Moffat and Williamson, said: 'It's the first time we've ever had anything like this happen.'

These students were clearly well looked after by their teachers, but do you think school trips are safe enough? And are they worth the risk?