School closed for safety reasons after more debris falls from ceiling

Angel Road Junior School.

Angel Road Junior School in north Norwich. - Credit: Archant

A school has been forced to close for safety reasons for the second time in the space of a month - because of falling debris from its ceiling.

Extra safety investigations need to be carried out at Angel Road Junior School and parents of the Norwich school have been told it will not reopen until after the summer holidays.

Parents were told that, overnight on Thursday, more debris dropped from a ceiling.

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

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

But Binks Neate-Evans, executive principal for Angel Road Junior School, Angel Road Infant and Nursery and Bignold Primary, said more investigations were now needed before the school could reopen.

Binks Neate-Evans, executive principal of Bignold and Angel Road schools

Binks Neate-Evans, executive principal of Angel Road Junior School. - Credit: Evolution Academy Trust

In a letter to parents sent on Friday, she said: "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."

The chief executive of Evolution Academy Trust, which runs the school, Norfolk County Council, the Department for Education and the Health and Safety Executive are all involved.

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The school is planning a virtual meeting with parents in the coming week, but Mrs Neate-Evans has said it will not reopen this term. The school breaks up for the summer holidays on Wednesday, July 21.

The school has said children will be educated through online learning, as was used during the coronavirus lockdown.

Mrs Neate-Evans said: "I would like to stress, to families, the quality of educational provision and teaching at Angel Road Junior is very good.

"The school has shown very strong improvements in the last two years and we will prioritise and maintain this for the children in our community.

"We too, are very upset about this disruption and it is beyond the control of the school staff.

"We recognise it is a very big ask but we need your support to help us and the children through this difficult period.

"Please be assured we will work very hard to minimise the impact on children.

"We recognise this is very, very upsetting and disruptive for children and families, particularly given the events of the past year."