Start of term put back at Dickleburgh Primary School after community concerns delay building work
A village primary school has been forced to put back its start of term and create a makeshift classroom in nearby church rooms after building work was delayed due to concerns over the safety of pupils accessing the site.
Construction of a state-of-the-art facility containing two new classrooms, a large cloakroom and toilet facilities was due to get underway at Dickleburgh Primary School straight after the end of the summer term.
It is designed to increase the schools' provision from five classes to six, so it can cope with a growing number of young people.
But planning permission was delayed after members of the community expressed fears an accident could happen as a result of more children and parents trying to access the school along a narrow lane.
That consequently meant the building work could not start as soon as planned, meaning the 60sq metre classrooms could not be finished in time.
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Headteacher James Richards said the delay was 'very unfortunate' and said: 'It is solely down to the delay in us gaining planning permission.'
Although children were due to return to school today (Thursday, September 4), it has instead decided not to open until Monday, September 8 - but stressed no teaching days would be lost, as staff training days planned for later in the year had been brought forward.
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However Mr Richards said: 'We will have our children come back on Monday but it will be a bit of an adventure for them, as they won't be in their right classroom.
'Some will be camped out in the old ICT room, while we have very kindly been offered the use of the church rooms and lessons will be taught there for part of the week.
'We will make the best of it. It is not ideal, we wouldn't want to start term this way but the community understand about the temporary arrangements.'
He added that parents were 'really excited' about the new facilities and that there had been 'understandable issues with a bigger school creating more traffic and concerns about pedestrian safety'.
Ann Baker, clerk of Dickleburgh Parish Council, confirmed members of the community had raised concerns and that various options to alleviate the problems were being considered. 'Various parishioners are concerned an incident could happen as a result,' she said.
Mr Richards said parents would be kept updated via the school's Facebook page.
Have you been affected by the closure? What do you think about the safety at the school site? Write, giving your full contact details, to: EDP Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email EDPLetters@archant.co.uk