Dozens of British schoolchildren have been left stranded abroad after hotel staff accidentally shredded their passports.

Pupils from Barr Beacon School, in Walsall, Birmingham visited New Hampshire in the US as part of a ski trip.

They were meant to fly home on Saturday, but a calamitous error meant that 41 of the pupil's passports were destroyed by mistake.

Thanks to the mistake, the kids are enjoying an impromptu sightseeing trip around New York City while embassy staff organise emergency passports.

The Mirror reported that the parents of the affected schoolkids have praised the “phenomenal" response of teachers who were looking after the children on the trip.

Head Katie Hibbs said she was proud of the staff on the trip "for managing this very challenging situation”.

"We have 42 pupils and four members of staff currently in New York after 41 of the passports were destroyed whilst the group were staying at the hotel in New Hampshire,” Mrs Hibbs said.

The group have had to apply for emergency documentation to allow them to travel home.

“The British Embassy in New York have completed the applications with the pupils and documents will be collected on their day of travel to leave the USA.

"The party are currently in New York where they await their flight home, four days later than planned.”

The pupils are understood to be from Years 8 to 10 and are aged between 12 and 15.

The skiing trip had previously been cancelled twice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking of the drama, the mother of one of the girls stranded in America said: “It was a horrific shock really.

“It's the first time she has been away from family for this long. And what they were doing was really challenging - skiing black runs or blue runs, depending on their experience.”

The group had been staying at the Kancamagus Lodge in Lincoln, New Hampshire when the passports were shredded.

By Christopher Bucktin, United States Editor Jaymelouise Hudspith