Pupils “written off” over failure to repair ‘dilapidated’ mobile classrooms, Taverham Junior head claims

Taverham Junior School teacher Julia Potts with the old mobile classroom block.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Taverham Junior School teacher Julia Potts with the old mobile classroom block.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The 450 pupils at a junior school have been 'written off' because council priorities have so far prevented 'dilapidated' mobile classrooms from the 1970s from being repaired, a head has claimed.

Taverham Junior School teacher Julia Potts with the old mobile classroom block.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Taverham Junior School teacher Julia Potts with the old mobile classroom block.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The 450 pupils at a junior school have been 'written off' because council priorities have so far prevented 'dilapidated' mobile classrooms from the 1970s from being repaired, a head has claimed.

Paul Stanley said sorting out the temporary accommodation at Taverham Junior had been a priority of his when he arrived in 2009, but said it had been neglected at a time when academies and free schools had received more generous support.

Norfolk County Council said it and schools share responsibility for the upkeep of these classrooms, and, when deciding priorities, it uses factors such as how much accommodation is in mobile classrooms, and whether the school is likely to see demand for places rise.

Mr Stanley said: 'There are 450 pupils here. If they are going to write them off because the school is not growing, then that is a scandal.'


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In a letter to parents, he apologised for the 'embarrassing' state of the units. He told them: 'Those of you who have seen them will find it hard to believe that we are having to put up with such sub-standard buildings, especially when there seems to be plenty of money in the system for some types of schools.'

He noted the cost of converting some local authority schools into academies is passed to remaining local authority schools - including any deficits.

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The Department for Education said it was a 'myth' that different types of schools got different amounts of money, and said Taverham had not applied to it for funds for condition maintenance.

A spokesman said: 'Norfolk County Council has received £10.5million in 2015/16 for maintenance of schools it is responsible for. It is a matter for the local authority to decide on how this funding is dividing among schools.'

A parent, who asked not to be named, said: 'It's disgusting, the state of this classroom. In the summer it's like a green house, and in the winter it looks like my child could be wearing his coat in class just to keep warm. This is not acceptable.'

Mr Stanley said the school paid £210,000 into the council's building repair and maintenance insurance programme over five years, and added: 'We have definitely not got value for money.'

A council spokesman said: 'We have been discussing this matter with the headteacher at Taverham Junior and will be presenting him with options for the school in the near future, as he is expecting.'

Do you have an education story? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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