Five schools fail to open on time

HUNDREDS of school children in Suffolk were given an extended summer holiday this week as five schools failed to open on time.A total of seven school days were lost when three primary schools, one middle school and one high school were unable to open their doors to pupils as expected due to an array of problems.

HUNDREDS of school children in Suffolk were given an extended summer holiday this week as five schools failed to open on time.

A total of seven school days were lost when three primary schools, one middle school and one high school were unable to open their doors to pupils as expected due to an array of problems.

Bacton Primary School, in Stowmarket, opened two days late because of a burst water main caused by contractors taking away soil samples to check for contamination after oil was spilt earlier this year.

Bardwell Primary School, in Bury St Edmunds opened a day late after a crane fell in the playground over the weekend and also because of staff illness.

The crane is expected to be lifted out of the playground on Sunday and pupils returned to school yesterday.

Bentley Primary School, in Ipswich, also opened a day late after work by contractors over-ran.

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A spokeswoman for the school said: “We've still got a lot of dust around but the children are here, we expect the building work to continue until possibly January or February.”

Kirkley Middle School, Lowestoft, will open two school days late, on Mondayafter work by contractors as part of year-long refurbishment over ran and asbestos was discovered.

The opening of Stowupland High School was staggered for different year groups after contractors working in the school were let down by suppliers and the carpets for the new classrooms were not delivered for the Tuesday deadline.

Kevin Lim, Suffolk county councillor, said there needs to be an explanation for the unexpected delays.

He said: “Sometimes the delay in opening is inevitable but if it's planned work there should be plenty of time to get it done over the summer holidays so pupils and staff don't have to be disrupted.

“Normally, they shouldn't need to open late and it's something we will be looking into.”

Rosalind Turner, director for children and young people's services, said: “Of 365 schools in Suffolk, the vast majority opened as normal and on time.

“In the small number of situations where there were delays they were all for good reasons and in every case we have worked to open those schools as soon as possible.”

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