Classroom closures at four North Tyneside schools after ceiling collapse

Four schools in North Tyneside are closed or partially closed due to construction issues. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Four schools on North Tyneside have been forced to close or partially close due to construction issues.

Hundreds of children's education will be disrupted as a result.

The issues came to light after a ceiling at Fordley Primary School, in Annitsford, collapsed late last year when a chunk of concrete fell through it.

No one was injured in the incident, which happened overnight.

It led North Tyneside Council to check whether other schools had undergone similar construction methods, which resulted in the closure or partial closure of Hazelwood Primary School, Churchill Community College and Grasmere Academy.

Some pupils are being taught at home, while others have been moved to other schools while building inspections take place in consultation with Department for Education engineers.

The issue is not related to Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC).

Mum Carly Irving said the closure of her children's school was a worry. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

North Tyneside Council thanked families and children for their patience while investigations are carried out.

Jon Ritchie, director of resources at North Tyneside Council, told ITV Tyne Tees: "It's important to balance the health and safety of our pupils and staff with the disruption for families, but also for their education. I'm massively sympathetic with parents for the short notice.

"We're looking at working with the schools to support them in the short term and the longer term."

In a statement, he added: “I’d like to reassure everyone that these structural issues are not related to RAAC and we are working alongside the Department for Education’s complex projects team to find solutions."

Carly Irving, a nurse whose children are affected by the closure, said: "It is a worry. We don't know how long it's going to go on for. We don't know the reason. My boys missed so much school during Covid. Are they ever going to catch up?"

MP Catherine McKinnell, a shadow education minister, said: "The government needs to get a plan in place for how they're going to address not just RAAC - we're still waiting on that - but now other structural issues that we know are appearing in buildings in so many places and now here on North Tyneside.

"It's incredibly frustrating for the children affected, for the parents and for the teachers."

The Department for Education spokesperson said: “We are in close contact with the responsible body, North Tyneside Council, as they carry out their investigations locally and will support them to minimise any impact to education as necessary.”

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