Community pulls together to help Ottery Primary School

Outside the front of Ottery Primary School and Busy Otters pre-school.

Outside the front of Ottery Primary School and Busy Otters pre-school. - Credit: Archant

Ottery’s community has pulled together to provide temporary classrooms for pupils and staff after the primary school was forced to close due to blocked pipes.

The Longdogs Lane site has been shut since Wednesday as tree roots had caused a significant blockage in the pipes, leaving the school with no access to running water or toilets.

Ottery scouts have opened its centre in Winters Lane for year two and The King’s School have offered space for students in years five and six for today and Friday.

Marc Gilronan, headteacher for the primary school, has thanked the community for coming together at a frustrating and disruptive time.

In a letter to parents, he wrote: “The decision to close a school is always taken as a last resort and yesterday, due to the fact that we cannot use running water or toilets we literally had no choice. The primary school site will remain closed until Monday.

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“I appreciate that this is not an ideal solution for many of you who have children outside of these year groups but I’m sure you will understand that it is difficult to find solutions for over 400 children at such short notice. We have prioritised years two and six in order to support them in their work for the upcoming SATs assessments that they have been working towards all year and Year five due to their upcoming Warren Barn trip next week.

“I’d like to thank all the staff and children at Kings for their support and also the Scouts who have kindly vacated for us on Friday.”

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South West Water and an independent drain company have carried out investigative works and found the blockage to pipes has been caused by tree roots.

A South West Water spokeswoman said: “We investigated a report of sewer flooding at a neighbouring property and traced the source of the problem to the school’s private pipework. We have advised the school accordingly. The public sewerage network in the area is operating correctly.”

Read how the school came to be closed

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