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Cwmcarn High School re-opens

The school has been closed in October 2012 Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

A Caerphilly school which closed over a year ago because of asbestos fears, will re-open today.

Work began to remove asbestos at Cwmcarn High School in June last year, after it was closed in October 2012.

Pupils were taught in Ebbw Vale whilst the work was being completed.

The school was due to re-open in September last year, but was delayed following the death of a contractor, who was working to remove asbestos.

Cwmcarn High School will not fully reopen until 2014

A school which closed a year ago over asbestos fears says the site will not fully reopen until after Christmas.

Work began to remove asbestos at Cwmcarn High School in June.

Pupils will continue to be taught in Ebbw Vale while the work is finished, although some may return to the Cwmcarn site in December.

Depending on progress over the next few weeks, some year groups will hopefully be able to return to the school in early December, but it is anticipated that the school will be fully operational after Christmas.

We fully understand that this is disappointing news and many pupils, staff and parents will be frustrated by this further delay, but I'm sure you can appreciate that the school must be made safe before it can re-open again.

– Jacqui Peplinski, Cwmcarn High School - Sandra Aspinall, Caerphilly County Borough Council

Reopening of Cwmcarn High School delayed

The reopening of Cwmcarn High School, which has been closed since October last year due to asbestos, has been delayed following the death of a contractor last month.

James Paul, 26, from Abertillery, was found dead on the afternoon of July 19 on the school site.

A pathologist's report found he might have been electrocuted.

A joint statement by Cwmcarn High School and Caerphilly County Borough Council today said asbestos removal and remediation works 'have been unavoidably affected following the tragic death' of Mr Paul.

It was hoped that the school would reopen to pupils and staff on Wednesday 4th September. However, unfortunately the delay to the works recommencing on site have impacted upon the return date for pupils to the school site.

We have a duty to provide continuous education for pupils, and as such, Cabinet will consider a recommendation for Cwmcarn High School pupils and staff to temporarily return to the Coleg Gwent Campus in Ebbw Vale while a programme of works continues at the school site.

We understand that pupils, parents and teaching staff alike will be disappointed by this update. However, we would like to assure all concerned that works are progressing as swiftly as possible at the school. We are working closely with the main contractor Caswell Group to help ensure that the timescales for this programme of work are kept to an absolute minimum – projections are that the works will be completed in time for students to return to the Cwmcarn High School site following October half term.

– Caerphilly County Borough Council and Cwmcarn High School statement

An inquest into Mr Paul's death was adjourned until 3 October while Gwent Police and the Health and Safety Executive carry out a joint investigation.

Tributes to Cwmcarn school asbestos worker Jamie Paul

The family of Jamie Paul, 26, who died while carrying out work to remove asbestos at Cwmcarn High School, have paid tribute to him.

The whole family is devastated and cannot believe that he has been taken from us. The house will not be the same without him as he was a very vocal person with a wicked sense of humour and you certainly knew that he was around.

Jamie was a larger than life character who would help anybody if needed and will be deeply missed by all the family and his friends.

Jamie was the best fiancée, daddy, son, brother and uncle that anyone could wish to have who worked hard to provide for his family.

Jamie loved spending time and doing things with his young son Kingsley, going out on his bike, walking the dog, mending the car anything really they were inseparable.

– Jamie Paul's mother Sharon


Cwmcarn school worker 'may have been electrocuted'

Cwmcarn High School has been closed to pupils since October 2012 after a report found asbestos concerns.

A 26-year-old worker found dead at Cwmcarn High School on 19 July may have been electrocuted, according to a pathologist's report.

James Paul from Abertillery was found dead at around 3pm in the afternoon in a suspended ceiling area of the school, Newport Coroner's Court was told today.

Workers had been removing asbestos from the 900-pupil school which had been forced to close over safety fears.

Mr Paul was pronounced dead at the scene and the coroner's court was told he had died from a cardiac arrest.

The inquest was adjourned until 3 October for Gwent Police and the Health and Safety Executive to carry out a joint investigation.

Cwmcarn High School: 'A tragic incident'

In a statement Caerphilly Council and Cwmcarn High School say the coroner is now looking into the death of a 26-year-old man found dead at the school last Friday.

This is a tragic incident and our thoughts and sympathy are with the family at this difficult time. We are awaiting an update from the Coroner’s Office about the cause of death, therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.

– Caerphilly County Borough Council

Police investigate death of worker at school

Police are investigating the death of a 26-year-old man who died at the school last Friday.

Gwent Police and the Health and Safety Executive, are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 26-year-old man discovered at Cwmcarn High School last Friday afternoon

Police were called to the school at approximately 3.15pm and are treating the death as unexplained.

The man, who was working at the school at the time of his death, is from the Abertillery area.

The school closed after a council-commissioned report found that asbestos posed a potential health risk.

Asbestos removal begins at Cwmcarn High School

Caerphilly Council hopes to have pupils back on site on September 2, for the start of the new academic year.

Work has started on removing asbestos from Cwmcarn High School.

Specialist contractors are on site to make buildings safe for pupils to return.

They have been taught in Ebbw Vale since November - after their school was closed in October following a structural report.

Chair of Governors Gary Thomas described the beginning of asbestos removal as "fantastic news."

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