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Falkland Primary School pupils return to classrooms as work continues to get school ‘fully operational’ again after water leak caused electric outage

Pupils at a Newbury primary school have returned to face-to-face teaching today (Wednesday) after a water leak caused chaos in their classrooms over half term.

Parents at Falkland Primary School had found themselves thrown back into home-schooling on Monday after a complete loss of electrics led to the school being closed due to serious health and safety concerns.

Falkland Primary School headteacher Kavashni Bamfield
Falkland Primary School headteacher Kavashni Bamfield

But by today (Wednesday) the electrics had been made safe and pupils are now all being taught either back at the Andover Road site or at other local schools.

West Berkshire Council’s critical incidents team is continuing to work with the school to “find a solution” to fully reopen as soon as possible.

The site was deemed unsafe after the leak saw water spilling into the boiler room and the main electrical distribution board, leaving the school with no lighting, heating or hot water.

Phones lines and fire alarms were also wiped out by the problems.

Year 6 pupils were quickly found classroom space at nearby Park House School, while key worker children were accommodated at the area’s Scout hut to ensure face-to-face teaching continued for some.

Other year groups found themselves set work to do at home for the first few days of the week, instead of returning to classrooms as expected after the half term break.

Today 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 problem was first made public in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday, when the school told parents: “Be rest assured that the school is working closely with WB’s Critical Incidents Team to find a solution as soon as possible.

“The decision to close the school has not been taken lightly but the safety of staff and pupils is paramount.”

Staff were also pictured at St George’s Church, which is next to the school, on Monday where they had gathered to plan the next steps as they praised the community for rallying round to help out in their hour of need.

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