EIGHT Lenzie Academy pupils who smoked cannabis on a school trip to Alton Towers have been suspended for a fortnight following a disciplinary hearing at the school yesterday, writes Gavin Madeley.

After lengthy meetings with their parents, headteacher Roderick McLelland also banned the eight third-year students, aged 14 and 15, from going on any further school outings for an indefinite period.

The group was caught by security guards at the Staffordshire theme park during a visit last weekend by a party of around 75 pupils and staff. Three other children originally suspected of being among the guilty were cleared of any wrongdoing.

Mr McLelland delivered a stinging rebuke, saying they had let the school and themselves down and adding that he was grateful to the parents for supporting his decision to exclude their children.

In a prepared statement, he said: ''We are extremely disappointed at the behaviour of these pupils. They were trusted to conduct themselves in a proper manner on this trip and they have abused that trust.

''They will be excluded from school for the next two weeks and are excluded indefinitely from any other school trips.''

The school has already scheduled other outings for the end of term, with another group due to visit Alton Towers this Friday.

Mr McLelland stressed that these would still go ahead, saying: ''It would be unfair to punish other pupils for the actions of these few and I am confident that there will be no further behaviour of this sort.''

The school runs an on-going programme of drug education and the parents and pupils, who have not been named, have been offered counselling sessions.

Mr McLelland added: ''We have also had visits from the Calton Athletic Drug Recovery Group to the school and we may arrange for more visits to highlight the damage drugs can do.''

A spokeswoman for East Dunbartonshire Council said: ''As far as the council's education department is concerned, Lenzie Academy has dealt appropriately with the pupils involved and that is the end of the matter.''