Haygrove School in Somerset ordered to close building after it was deemed 'unsafe'

A fence has been put up around the building after it was deemed 'unsafe'.

A school in Somerset has been forced to close its building just weeks before the start of the autumn term after it was deemed unsafe.

Haygrove School in Bridgwater was only completed in 2020 but the building has now been closed and a fence put up to prevent anyone entering it.

It is one of three schools across the country to have closed under similar circumstances. They were all built by the same contractor Caledonian Modular, which has since gone bust.

Two schools in Cornwall - Newquay Primary Academy and Launceston Primary School - were previously torn down partway through being built when the firm collapsed.

In Somerset, hundreds of children are now waiting to find out if they will be able to return to school at the start of the autumn term and where exactly they will be taught.

Headteacher Aaron Reid described the situation as "hugely disappointing".

The school's headteacher says they are working with DfE to establish a perimeter around the main building

"We are in need of alternative arrangements for the new school term in September," he said.

"The DfE has promised us that it will be providing high-quality temporary accommodation on the school site as soon as possible. However, we do not yet know when this will be delivered and are seeking urgent clarification from the DfE.

"This may cause a delay to the start of term which we very much appreciate would pose logistical challenges for some of our families," Aaron added.

"We wholeheartedly apologise for any inconvenience which this would cause but this is unfortunately beyond our control, and will confirm as soon as we possibly can if this will be the case."

In a later update, he vowed to keep parents and carers updated but admitted the situation was "far from ideal".

The Somerset school is one of three across the country ordered to close down this week after similar structural concerns were found.

Sir Frederick Gibberd College in Harlow was shut due to safety fears while Buckton Fields School in Northampton was also closed.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department for Education, said: "Nothing is more important than the health and safety of pupils and teachers, which is why we assess school buildings regularly to make sure they meet our high standards.

“Following surveys conducted at our request, we have identified concerns with building work carried out at Haygrove School by a specific contractor that is no longer in business. 

“We are working closely with school leaders on temporary measures to safely accommodate pupils and minimise the disruption to their learning."