REDDITCH pupils who were stranded on a gridlocked highway and in danger of missing vital exams made it in time, thanks to their quick-thinking school worker.
The incident happened on Tuesday morning (May 24) when cables came down on the Bromsgrove Highway and the police shut the road in both directions for safety reasons.
Students travelling from Bromsgrove to St Augustine’s Catholic High School to sit their GCSE and A-Level exams and were at risk of missing the tests and losing marks if they couldn’t get to the school.
But attendance officer Claire Bird came to the rescue – she joined driver Paul Bunegar in the school minibus and went to the scene to beg the police to help her get the delayed coach through the chaos.
With officers’ help, not only did she get the students to school on time, she also took their phones and bags from them to ensure they were under exam conditions to comply with governing body JCD’s regulations.
Miss Bird Said: “We were so worried it was going to impact their exams because the traffic was just not moving.
“When we got there and saw Tardebigge was totally gridlocked I thought I was going to have to run down the highway and grab the children.
“Luckily once we explained the situation to the police they let the minibus through and allowed us to get to the children.
“Poor Mr Bunegar then had to sit in all the traffic whilst I grabbed all the stuff from the children and put them in exam conditions.”
The youngsters were 55 minutes late and made it just in time to take their tests.
A school spokeswoman said the time frame was really tight because of the students journeying from Bromsgrove.
“That only gives us half an hour of leniency. Thank goodness for Miss Bird’s quick-thinking.
“The children can be at risk of losing marks if they are late to exams and of course we worried they wouldn’t get here at all at what is the height of their academic career.”
The school has thanked the police for their help in getting the youngsters to the school and allowing them through when the road had been cordoned off.
Insp Darren Webster said: “I am pleased that we were able to help and wish the children success in their exams.
“However, it is important drivers do not choose to drive through road blocks of their own accord and always follow instructions from police and highways officers.”
The Bromsgrove Highway was shut from Tuesday morning until 1am on Wednesday while Western Power Distribution installed new poles to put the cables back to where they should be.