Pupils huge thanks to Ottery community for supporting them during school closure

PUBLISHED: 08:20 04 May 2018

Ottery Primary School children say thank you. Ref sho 18 18TI 2131. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery Primary School children say thank you. Ref sho 18 18TI 2131. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Pupils and staff at Ottery Primary School have expressed their heartfelt thanks to the community for rallying together when it was forced to shut last week.

Headteacher Mark Gilronan was left with no choice but to close the school on Wednesday to allow investigation work to be carried out into blocked drains which left the premises with no running water.

With SAT exams due to start for year two pupils on Tuesday and year six youngsters next week, Ottery Scouts and The King’s School reached out to provide temporary classrooms.

It meant the school could partially open on Thursday for 180 children in years two, five and six. The primary school reopened fully on Friday.

Mr Gilronan said he had been warned the school might not open until Monday at the earliest. He had looked at the possibility of bringing in portable toilets and bottled water so students could take their exams on Tuesday.

“Ottery came together as only it can,” said Mr Gilronan. “We are so close to SATs, they have been working so hard in years two and six and year five were preparing for a residential trip. After the work that has gone in over the year, it would have been four days we would have lost. We sounded out King’s and the scouts and they had been already working out what they could do to accommodate us.”

Mr Gilronan thanked parents for their patience during the inconvenience and the drainage experts for their work.

Rob Gammon, headteacher at The King’s School, said: “We were delighted to be able to offer support to Ottery Primary School during this critical incident. This is yet another example of local schools within the Ottery learning community working together in the best interests of children and their families.

“This was particularly important for those children sitting SATs.’

Parents were kept up to date throughout the three-day period by staff, who also prepared work for the students off school on Wednesday.

Kitchen staff prepared packed lunches for the students and took washing-up home with them.

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.”

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