Children face weeks more learning at different school over safety fears

Angel Road Junior School in Norwich and (inset) Evolution Academy Trust chief executive Lynsey Holzer.

Angel Road Junior School in Norwich and (inset) Evolution Academy Trust chief executive Lynsey Holzer. - Credit: Archant

Pupils at a Norwich primary forced to close twice after debris fell from its ceiling face more weeks being taught in a different school.

On-going safety fears mean children at Angel Road Junior School will have to continue attending lessons at St Clements Hill Primary off Sprowston Road until at least Christmas. 

Evolution Academy Trust, which runs the school, confirmed that work was ongoing to address the structural problems behind the ceiling collapses.

Chief executive Lynsey Holzer said: “We are working hard to resolve the longer term building issues at Angel Road.”

After the first incident in June a specialist roof company carried out an audit and school leaders had said they had been reassured that the action taken meant the school was safe.

Angel Road Junior School

Some pupils at Angel Road Junior School will continue to have to be taught at St Clements Hill Primary, more than a mile away. - Credit: Archant © 2006

But after a second closure, Binks Neate-Evans, executive principal for Angel Road Junior School, Angel Road Infant and Nursery and Bignold Primary, said in a letter to parents: "This incident indicates more significant investigations and actions are required prior to allowing access to the building.”

Extra safety investigations after more debris fell meant the school closed for the final week of the summer term with children having to learn at home.

Angel Road Junior School in Norwich.

Angel Road Junior School in Norwich. - Credit: Hugh Venables/Geograph

Work to make the school building safe could not be completed over the summer holidays with parents of children in Year 5 and 6 being told lessons would instead take place at St Clements Hill Primary School until October half-term.

Opened in 2018, St Clements Hill, run by Boudica Schools Trust, has not been established long enough to have all year groups in attendance, which means there are unused classrooms to accommodate extra pupils.

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The two schools are more than a mile apart meaning some parents face longer journeys to drop off their children.

Don Evans, CEO at Boudica Schools Trust

Don Evans, currently CEO at Boudica Schools Trust, has also been appointed part time interim CEO of neighbouring The Yare Education Trust. - Credit: Boudica Schools Trust

Ms Holzer said: “The arrangement with St Clements is working very well and we are grateful for the joint working with Boudicca Trust. 

“The arrangement will continue until Christmas and we are offering a bus to help any parents with transport.”

Boudica chief executive Don Evans said: “We haven't made any decision about what might happen after Christmas as we need to see how things progress with the building at Angel Road.”

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