Newcastle school reveal reason for closure which forced students to learn from home

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Damage caused by Storm Babet led to Jesmond Park Academy to close their building.

A Newcastle secondary school has finally given pupils and parents answers to the reason for school closure.

Jesmond Park Academy closed on Thursday, October 19, after damage caused to the building following Storm Babet. 

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Over 2,000 students were forced to learn from home, with parents and local councillors hitting out at the school for lack of information regarding the closure.

Jesmond Park Academy released a lengthy statement on Thursday, November 9 to explain the cause of closure - which was due to a section of steel fascia, located at the back of the school, collapsing.

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George Snaith, who is the chair of trustees at the Gosforth Group of academies, explained in the statement that they “cannot be sure the building is completely safe”. 

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He said: “The safety of our students and staff is paramount and we will not take any chances. Steel falling from the walkway was serious; steel falling two stories from the main roof could be catastrophic.”

Snaith apologised for the lack of information, explaining that due to legalities, the nature of the damage could not be disclosed. 

Snaith further explained and apologised for the fact that inspections to the building did not take place until eight days after the damage on Thursday, October 26 , and the report from the inspection was not delivered until Friday, November 3.

Jesmond Park AcademyJesmond Park Academy
Jesmond Park Academy

It is unknown as to when the school may reopen. Snaith also explained in the statement that finding an alternative location to deliver in-person teaching is “ a huge challenge”.

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As part of his statement, Snaith reassured parents and students as he said: “We understand and recognise that many of you and your children will be worrying about lost learning, and I want to provide assurances to you that, as a Trust, we are ready to provide assistance and resources to support any catch-up work that is required.”

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