Haygrove school in Bridgwater had a new main building 3 years ago with the famous old quad buildings of Dr Morgan’s Grammar School days demolished to make way for it. A year ago a window fell out of it and opening after the summer holidays was delayed. This year the whole building has been closed over safety concerns and the schools re-opening again postponed with other buildings put up by the same Private contractor also under the spotlight. Parents are asking who was responsible for signing off such a project in the first place and Bridgwater’s Labour councillors are saying the town deserves better. Town Councillor and teacher Irena Hubble (Fairfax West, Labour) went on the BBC this week to talk about the issue.
Cllr Hubble says “GCSE exam results day should be the day schools and pupils celebrate their achievements and look forward to future success. Unfortunately, though Haygrove School was able to distribute results the future of the school and the teaching within it is far from certain.The modular construction of the building has not passed safety checks and this means the start of term is delayed with no information about when it might reopen or dates for the arrival of temporary classrooms so that teaching can continue on site. This is shoddy beyond belief. How can teachers plan the delivery of their subjects not knowing if the teaching is face to face or on-line ? What do parents do if they have jobs they must hold down but their children must remain at home ? This resounding F for failure lands at the door of the department of education . A department unable to say when ‘normal’ teaching resumes at the school.At a time when we keep being told achievements in school must improve year on year the government is doing its best to ruin pupils’ chance of success. The so called ‘new ‘ school is not fit for purpose and our young people are let down yet again. Headteachers, teachers, pupils, parents must demand the best and force deadlines out of the Dfe. They deserve the best.”
Disturbance to Children’s Education
Labour is the strongest party in Bridgwater and has been for more than half a century but decisions are being taken elsewhere that affect the Towns future whether it’s the Tory Government nationally, who are ultimately responsible for the state of the nations education or the Lib Dem controlled county Education authority. However, these days are outside the remit of local Authority control. Alex Martin is a Lawyer who was until recently a teacher. Currently he is the Policy Officer of Bridgwater Labour Party. Alex says “Students at Haygrove have had enough disturbance to their education in the last few years without their main school building being condemned just days before the start of the new academic year. Thankfully, no children were injured during the time that the building was endangering them. There are significant price and environmental benefits to modular building projects and they will rightly feature in our future construction mix, but we must ensure that both the workmanship and financial integrity of manufacturers — and everyone else along the supply and build chain — is properly assessed before handing over to them public funds that are in short supply as it is. Why was Caledonia Modular selected for this build? Was the process competitive? Who signed off on building safety? The DfE, Haygrove School and Quantock Education Trust have questions to answer. I doubt this would happen at Eton”.