Pupils will start September term in different school over safety fears

Angel Road Junior School

Angel Road Junior School in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

Pupils at a Norwich primary school forced to close twice due to debris falling from its ceiling will be forced to start the new term in a different school.

Safety fears saw Angel Road Junior School shut twice in the space of a month with children sent home to learn. 

Extra safety investigations after more debris fell meant the school closed for the final week of the summer term

It followed a previous incident in June, where the school was shut for a couple of days after a ceiling tile fell into a classroom.

Angel Road Junior School

Some pupils at Angel Road Junior School will start in the September term in neighbouring St Clements Hill Primary. - Credit: Archant © 2006

Parents of children who will be in Year 5 and 6 when schools return in September have now been told they will be attending neighbouring St Clements Hill Primary School through to the October half-term.

It comes after Evolution Academy Trust, which runs the school, confirmed that resolving the building issue could take some time and approached Boudica Schools Trust to investigate using facilities at St Clements. 

Lynsey Holzer, chief executive of Evolution Academy Trust and interim chief executive of Diversa Mul

Lynsey Holzer, chief executive of Evolution Academy Trust. - Credit: Lynsey Holzer

Lynsey Holzer, chief executive of Evolution, said the trusts were working together to ensure children, parents, and staff could start the summer break without uncertainty over where they will be going to school in September.

Opened in 2018, St Clements Hill Primary has not been established long enough to have all year groups in attendance, which means there are unused classrooms.

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“We are grateful to colleagues at Boudica for responding so quickly and positively to our request for support,” she said.

Don Evans, CEO at Boudica Schools Trust

Don Evans, currently CEO at Boudica Schools Trust. - Credit: Boudica Schools Trust

Don Evans, Boudica Schools Trust CEO, said: “It's essential for children in Norfolk that schools and trusts work together in close, supportive collaboration and we have a great relationship with Lynsey and the team at Evolution, so had no hesitation in offering our assistance.”

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 in Norwich.

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

But after the 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. 

“Our absolute priority is the safety of children and staff."