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Falkland School remains without heating, lighting and hot water as children return to the site and other schools in Newbury

A Newbury school remains without heating, lighting and hot water today (Thursday), as pupils are accommodated in classrooms across the town.

Falkland Primary School suffered a water leak in the roof during half term, which caused a complete loss of electrics and led to the school being closed due to serious health and safety concerns.

Falkland School
Falkland School

But by yesterday (Wednesday) the electrics had been made safe and pupils in years 1-4 were back at the Andover Road school – in non-school uniform and told to wrap up warm.

However, the school site remains without any power meaning there is no lighting, heating, hot water, cooking facilities or phone lines and the entrance gates must be opened and closed manually.

One parent, who asked not to be named, said that there was a lot of uncertainty over how long it could take to get the school running as normal again.

“Pupils are able to be on site but are basically in the dark,” they told Newburytoday.

“Children are in the sports hall and lunch hall but not classrooms. They have got a play coming up so they have been doing rehearsals for that, but they are not really able to do much else.

“The teachers are doing a good job but they are in a difficult situation and the head has done really well to arrange what she has.

“But there’s been no news as to how long it will take. There’s a lot of questions.”

They said there were no generators and fairy lights had been put up to light the toilets as best they could.

Pupils in reception are currently being taught at John Rankin and St John’s schools, while year 5 pupils are at Winchcombe School and year 6 pupils at Park House School.

The parent added that this was making it tricky for those with children at different sites, with different drop off and pick up times.

They have been told that the current arrangements will be in place for the rest of this week, but don’t yet know where the children will be next week.

Yesterday a spokesperson for West Berkshire Council said: “We are supporting Falkland Primary School which was temporarily closed due to a loss of electrical power and concerns to electrical safety earlier in the week.

“This caused an outage as the school had no electricity or heating posing a health and safety risk.

“The electrics have now been made safe and all pupils have been able to continue with face-to-face learning either on site or through the assistance of other schools who have kindly accommodated certain year groups on their sites.

“The situation is evolving daily, and the school maintains regular communication with parents/carers to provide timely updates.

“Our priority is to continue supporting the school and collaborate with contractors for solutions to restore electrical power for the school to be fully operational as soon as possible.”

The school, which has around 420 pupils, has taken to X, formerly Twitter, this week to praise the community for rallying round to help out in their hour of need.

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