Aug 18, 2023
Haygrove School: Hundreds to start late after building issues
Hundreds of pupils are unable to return to school at the beginning of September due to building issues. Haygrove School, in Bridgwater, Somerset, announced the start of term will be delayed, after its
Hundreds of pupils are unable to return to school at the beginning of September due to building issues.
Haygrove School, in Bridgwater, Somerset, announced the start of term will be delayed, after its main building was deemed unsafe.
Following assessments, the main school building will be wrapped and scaffold erected around it.
The return to school will be staggered by school year, with some pupils without a start date as of yet.
The school said it hopes to bring Year 11 students back to the Haygrove site on 7 September and from 18 September, the school plans for Year 10 students to be taught at Bridgwater and Taunton College.
Once the main school building at Haygrove is scaffolded and wrapped, the school will welcome Year 7 students.
When the school has temporary classrooms on site, it will welcome back Year 8 and Year 9 students.
The school is awaiting confirmation of a date from the Department for Education (DfE) as to when this will be.
Jackie Solomon, youth portfolio holder at Bridgwater Town Council said: "It's appalling.
"Students have had so much disruption because of the pandemic and this sub-standard building should have been properly checked.
"I am shocked the builders can walk away from this, but I can't blame the school," she said.
Work to wrap and scaffold the school started last week and is expected to take three weeks.
A spokesperson for the school said in a statement: "The work that needs to be taken to implement these safety measures, and the lack of portable classrooms and toilets on site means that unfortunately there will be a staggered return to school.
"We know this puts all our students, families and staff in an extremely difficult position, and it is certainly not ideal."
A DfE spokesperson explained they were "working closely with school leaders on temporary measures to safely accommodate pupils and minimise the disruption to their learning".
They said earlier in the year, two other schools built by Caledonian Modular - Newquay Primary Academy and Launceston Primary School - were demolished before construction was completed.
The construction company has since gone into administration.
The DfE said two other schools built by Caledonian Modular - Buckton Fields Primary School, and Sir Frederick Gibberd College - have been advised not to reopen because of structural irregularities.
The DfE spokesperson continued: "Nothing is more important than the health and safety of pupils and teachers, which is why we assess school buildings regularly to make sure they meet our high standards.
"Following surveys conducted at our request, we have identified concerns with building work carried out at Haygrove School by a specific contractor that is no longer in business."
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