Remedial work at Flash Ley School in Stafford is working but taking longer than expected, says Staffordshire County Council, meaning pupils and staff will be unable to return for the start of the new school year.
Alternative teaching arrangements at the Chetwynd Centre, Tillington Manor and Stafford Manor will continue from September, education heads have told parents this week, as work continues to remove traces of formaldehyde from the building.
Although levels are dropping significantly, they are still too high for repairs and redecoration to start, prompting education and health officials to rule out a September return date in the interests of safety.
The building material that caused the high levels of formaldehyde has now been completely removed from the site, but lower levels still remain in brickworks and ground. Work will continue over the coming weeks.
County Councillor Ben Adams, Cabinet Member for Learning and Skills explained:
“I know many parents will be disappointed with this news, but one thing we won’t do is compromise on the safety of children and staff. We have to be satisfied that there is no risk to staff or pupils.
“The process for removing the residual formaldehyde in the building is working but this is taking longer than expected.
“It is clear that the remedial works won’t be complete by the time the school year starts and we wanted to give parents and staff as much notice as possible.”
“We will continue to work closely with the school to support children’s education. We share the frustration of the whole community at the time it is taking to return to Flash Ley, but the safety of children and staff has to be, and will remain, our primary concern.
“We will be able to give parents and staff a further update at the start of the new school year.”