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Schoolchildren 'spit on animals' and pupil left unconscious during London Zoo trip

Children spat at animals and left a fellow pupil unconscious during a chaotic school outing to London zoo.

The children were on an end of term trip to London Zoo Credit: PA

The Year 7 pupils were seen spitting on birds in the zoo’s Snowdon Aviary, reports the Croydon Advertiser.

A pupil had to be treated in hospital after being knocked unconscious when his head was reportedly pushed into a glass panel.

Snowdon Aviary houses some of the "most majestic birds in the world", including peacocks and white ibis Credit: PA

London Zoo staff have been in contact with St Andrew’s Church of England High School in Croydon to outline their "concerns" following the end of term trip.

An email seen by the Croydon Advertiser, which was sent by the zoo to the school’s headteacher Kerry Targett, described “completely unacceptable behaviour”.

Referring to the arrival of their first aider to treat the injured boy, the email said:

Upon their arrival the first aider was greeted by a very large group from the same school who appeared to be very loud, boisterous and had a lack of adult supervision.

Two ordinary day visitors came to the boys' aid before any of the school staff or fellow students which of great concern.

– London Zoo email, via Croydon Advertiser

Headteacher Mrs Targett said "one or two" students misbehaved, and denied claims some pupils were left unsupervised, saying the trip was "sufficiently staffed".

For the majority this was a great opportunity to find out about the wonderful breeding programmes that are in place to save some of our most endangered species.

For one or two there was a level of excitement which meant they were unable to uphold our high expectations of behaviour.

Suitable sanctions were put in place in line with our behaviour policy and in partnership with their parents.

There were registers taken regularly and all students were accounted for.

A small number of students disappointed me with their behaviour but those students who were not following school procedures have been suitably sanctioned and parents informed.

– Kerry Targett

Our trained staff responded immediately to the events during the St Andrew's school visit, and we followed up with the school to make sure the young boy who was injured was OK, and to outline some of our concerns with their visit.

We were pleased that the headteacher at St Andrew's took our feedback seriously and let us know of the immediate actions the school took.

– Rachel Haydon, London Zoo's senior learning manager