Special meeting over plans for Cwmcarn High School

Cwmcarn High School
Cwmcarn High School has been closed for ten days Photo: ITV News Wales

A special meeting of Caerphilly County Borough Council will take place this evening to discuss what to do about Cwmcarn High School, which has been closed for ten days over asbestos fears.

A number of parents are expected at the meeting, where the subject of how to get the lower school back in lessons on Monday 5 November - as the council has pledged - will be on the agenda.

Year 11, 12 and 13 pupils are already back at school after up to a week off, while Year 10 pupils return today.

The council says there is asbestos present in the construction of a number of the school buildings. A structural report found the majority of it is sealed and in good condition, but some debris was discovered in voids and some asbestos product is unsealed or has some damage. This means there is potential for asbestos fibre to be released.

Further investigations are taking place to find out the extent of the problem and the work needed to address it. The council estimates that correcting it could cost millions of pounds.

Cwmcarn High school was closed ten days ago to safeguard the health and well-being of pupils and staff. The school stressed that getting older pupils back into lessons quickly was a priority, with important exams closer on the horizon.

Year 12 and 13 pupils were able to return a week later - last Friday - to be taught in the school's Performing Arts centre, a stand-alone block separate from the rest of the buildings.

Year 11 pupils joined them in the new block yesterday, and Year 10 pupils have been invited back today.

  • Friday 12 October - School closes
  • Last Friday (19 October) - Over 100 pupils from Year 12 and 13 return to school
  • Yesterday - Year pupils return to school
  • Today - Year 10 pupils return to school

The council has pledged that all pupils will be back at school on Monday 5 November, after the half-term holiday.

It says it's co-operating with the school's governing body and also to decide upon options for the rest of the academic year.

Cwmcarn Leisure Centre, which is connected to the school buildings, currently also remains closed.