Two suspected migrants were discovered inside the luggage compartment of a school coach as it arrived back in Hampshire after a trip to France.
Parents have spoken of their shock after seeing the two men appear from under bags as the doors were opened at Hounsdown School in Totton on Saturday evening.
Hampshire police said officers were called to the school to reports of two “possibly illegal immigrants”.
The coach had been carrying Year 9 and 10 pupils back from the three-day trip to Boulogne University, located about 20 miles south of Calais. The journey had taken teachers and pupils via the Eurotunnel before returning to Totton at around 5pm.
Among the parents waiting to collect their children was Tabi, who told the BBC the men discovered looked to be aged between 20 and 30.
She said: “My daughter came running over and she said “Oh my God, there’s people sat in where the suitcases are.
“Obviously it’s quite concerning because there were 36 children on the coach and no-one was aware that they were on there. I understand these immigrants are wanting a better life but it’s not very good targeting a coach full of children.”
Other parents took to social media after the incident, according to the local newspaper the Daily Echo. One said: “Was an absolute shocker to see a person sat there as the kids went forward to get their bags.”
Another said: “Just picked my daughter up from her school trip to France. The coach driver opened up the bottom to get the suitcases and found three immigrants sat in there.”
Some voiced concerns on how the two men were able to access the coach carrying children.
A spokesperson for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary said: “We were called just before 17:15 GMT on Saturday to reports that two people, who were possibly illegal immigrants, had been found at Hounsdown School in Totton.”
The force has directed further inquiries to The Home Office, but it is understood no arrests were made.
According to latest government figures, there were 52,530 irregular migrants stopped entering the UK in the year ending June 2023, up 17 per cent from the same period the year before.
Out of the 52,530 detected, 85 per cent arrived via small boats. On Saturday, three boats carrying 124 migrants were stopped crossing the England Channel.
Both the school and the Home Office have been contacted for comment by The Independent.