Don't miss a story sign up to Weston Mercury's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

No cash to fix rotting primary school

PUBLISHED: 13:00 10 June 2011

Ashcombe school, Weston. Emma Wheeter Parent governor with Pat Brown chairman of governors.

Ashcombe school, Weston. Emma Wheeter Parent governor with Pat Brown chairman of governors.

Archant

CHILDREN at a Weston school are being taught in crumbling, rotting buildings with asbestos ceilings, ‘ancient’ electrics and gaping holes.

Parents and governors have joined forces this week to question the state of Ashcombe Primary School, where temporary buildings are 40 years old - 16 years past their intended life span.

They say maintaining the classrooms is like placing a ‘sticking plaster’ over the catalogue of problems.

Children are taking lessons in buildings where water is leaking from skylights and floors are subsiding and the entrance steps to one of the buildings even collapsed this week.

The school has a problem with badgers that have burrowed underneath the classrooms and, because the buildings are so dilapidated, they cannot stand up to the damage the animals are causing.

Governors insist the buildings do not pose a danger to children, but electrics are so old they are becoming overloaded and the school experiences frequent power cuts.

This week headteacher Peter Turner wrote to parents to explain ‘significant’ long-term issues with some of the buildings.

He says the school hall is too small, the electrical wiring is inappropriate for a modern school with numerous computers and other equipment.

Mr Turner added: “None of these issues pose a risk to children on a daily basis. However, the governors and I believe your children deserve better.”

One parent governor says that with ancient electrics, asbestos ceilings and ‘extensive wood rot’, the buildings are deteriorating each week.

Another parent said: “This is a well-run school and the children are very happy, but the building needs to reflect that.

“We definitely need a new hall and a whole new set of classrooms.

“We need it modernising and brought up to modern standards.”

The annual budget for the school’s capital projects was £44,000 in 2010/11 but this year the Government grant has been cut to just £8,000.

Secretary of Ashcombe Friends Association, Cathy Constable, said: “It is unfair that other places get new schools and this is quite desperate.”

Pat Brown, chair of governors, added: “We have managed this site so well in recent years, which is why it has been used for so long. It is not a neglected building but the maintenance we have used is like putting a sticking plaster on it.”

North Somerset Council says it is working with the school to ensure it can continue to provide an acceptable learning environment while longer term solutions are explored.

Leader Nigel Ashton added: “Regrettably the Government’s national capital funding review has prevented the council from implementing longer term solutions.

“Once funding allocations for the future are known the council will work with Ashcombe and other schools to secure the best solutions for the future.”

3 comments

  • Why spend money on schools when really important things like council members pensions need to be topped up?

    Report this comment

    Stu

    Saturday, June 11, 2011

  • Why spend money on schools when really important things like council members pensions need to be topped up?

    Report this comment

    Stu

    Saturday, June 11, 2011

  • The conditions of the school building sound terrible. From the wood rot and electrical issues to the asbestos ceilings, the students, faculty and staff of Ashcombe appear to be spending their days in danger. Exposure to asbestos has been linked to diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis. I’m with http:www.Asbestos.net and it is widely known that inhaling the fibers leads to these major health problems, so it’s astounding that nothing is being done about it in a primary school.

    Report this comment

    SonjaKathryna

    Monday, June 13, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 18:00

Youngsters from across North Somerset found out which of the district’s reception classes they will be joining this September during national offer day.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:47

Who said Somerset is nothing but sleepy countryside? There are plenty of adrenaline-pumping activities for thrill-seekers to enjoy across the area, here are just 10 ideas...

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

A very fit and active retired nurse will celebrate her 100th birthday and her ‘interesting life’ on May 5.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:58

Weston-super-Mare, then-and-now: an interactive journey through time. Move the photo sliders left and right to see how Weston has changed.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

North Somerset Council is ‘pleased’ with the new waste collection service which started at the end of February – but many people have aired concerns over the scheme.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

Weston has been blessed with some brilliant weather during the past few weeks, which has led to some great readers’ images.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:39

Wells is expected to be a hotly-contested seat in June’s General Election. Here is who have announced they are standing so far.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:34

A parish council has presented three special awards to people who have gone above and beyond for the village.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:08

Political parties in Weston-super-Mare are making quick decisions over who will stand for them in June’s snap General Election. Here is a breakdown on who we know is standing so far…

Read more
Yesterday, 08:28

Part of a busy road in Weston-super-Mare will close on Tuesday for seven weeks so drainage work can be carried out.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 5°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder