Albert Primary School closed after leaking ceilings
11:02am Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in News
PENARTH’S Albert Primary School has been closed for the rest of this week due to a water leak from damaged ceilings.
It is thought that the "extremely heavy rain" over the weekend caused the ceilings to leak.
The school is expected to reopen after next week’s half term holidays, but today's (October 23) harvest festival at Tabernacle Baptist Church, as well as tomorrows (October 24) sports day for the junior children at Penarth Leisure Centre, have both been cancelled. The schools swimming gala has also been cancelled.
The Albert Road primary school was closed after school staff noticed that there were areas of loose plaster on two ceilings.
The problem was noticed at 6pm on Monday evening, October 21, and Vale of Glamorgan Council officers were called to inspect the ceilings.
It was decided that the school should be closed for further investigations and ceilings throughout the school are currently being checked.
Cllr Chris Elmore, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Our officers think the damage has been the result of a water leak, probably caused by the extremely heavy rain we had over the weekend.
"The damaged ceilings are over two halls, which lead to the classrooms. My priority is the safety of the children and staff, so unfortunately we have to close the school while we make the ceilings safe.
"We apologise to parents for the inconvenience and I will make sure our officers do everything they can to have the school open again as soon as possible.”
There is no issue with asbestos in the ceilings.
Albert Road Primary School currently has 385 pupils, with an additional 72 in the nursery school.
In December last year the school was closed for more than two weeks after an underfloor heating pipe burst. The leak drained the heating system, causing the school’s boilers to close down. Around 400 pupils were then temporarily relocated to Penarth Leisure Centre in Cogan and the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Plassey Street until the end of term.
Parents have expressed their frustration that they have had to find alternative childcare arrangements for the second time in two years.
Maria Samra, who has two boys that attend the school, said: “I would like to express my deep disappointment at the lack of focus on providing my children and those of the catchment of this school a safe and secure environment in which to attend school during term time.
“The current closure is entirely unacceptable, particularly given that the 375+ pupils at Albert Primary School in Penarth already lost more than two weeks of education during the 2012/13 school year. We are constantly being advised that 100 per cent attendance is fundamental to our children's success, yet our Government and our Council fails to provide the basic facilities in which they can achieve this.”
Mrs Samra, of Albert Crescent, added: “The teachers and staff of Albert Primary School work very hard to teach our children in sub-standard facilities. They, and our children, have a basic right to a safe, secure and available environment, and to continuity so that planned programmes of education can be delivered. Clearly the facilities do not exist for this to be delivered in this part of Penarth.”
She added that the council had “ample time” to assess the condition of the building over the six week summer holidays and that there should be “contingency plans so that events such as this can be handled without disruption to parents, teachers and staff when closure is unavoidable for safety reasons”.