I write following an incident within college which has caused governors to take the regrettable decision of sending Year 7 home today (18th March 2021) and asking that they remain at home for Friday 19th March, returning to college on Monday 22nd March 2021. I will set out below the detail around the incident and our response, hoping that some comments on social media sites can be both dismissed and ridiculed.
This morning, at approximately 0945hrs a radiator in Upper B Zone failed. There are reports on social media and rumours amongst the children that suggest this was caused by an altercation between two students with one comment even suggesting it was aliens! The reality, like most things, has some truth to it but is very different. The disagreement between two students was not the cause and we do not have aliens on our playing fields.
The radiator failing was, in my opinion, not the cause of any significant pupil or staff interaction. It was definitely not the actions of the two student who had fallen out. The exact cause will be determined by the building owners. The water expelled caused flooding to the Upper B and then subsequently Lower B zones. Students and staff were unharmed, although some staff and students were exposed to the water. We are liaising with those families and will of course clean, repair or purchase replacements to any items affected.
The water has caused damage to ceiling tiles and some areas of flooring. The building owners are responsible for the maintenance and repair in such matters. Whilst the damage and impact may seem superficial, there are clearly questions that the governors need to be satisfied of before allowing students or staff to return to the affected areas. These questions mostly relate to the repair and cleaning of the space, but also the passage of the water between floors. To manage this and ensure the safety of our community, governors have taken the decision to ask that Year 7 students remain at home on 19th March 2021 whereby remote learning will be provided. This delay will allow for due diligence and checks to be undertaken to ensure that normal operations can resume.
I know that many parents, particularly those in Year 7, will be disappointed with this news. I share this frustration and despair. Education is crucial to our young people and their futures and we must remove any obstacle that restricts that. I would ask again for your support in this matter and thank the many of you who repeatedly send encouragement and thanks for the attempts the college makes to resolve such matters.
Mr G R Potts DL