Haygrove School in Bridgwater forced to close temporarily due to Storm Ciarán

  • Watch Will Charley's report

A secondary school in Somerset say it is disappointed at being told to close as Storm Ciarán hits the region.

The Department for Education has recommended that Haygrove School in Bridgwater should shut it's classrooms to pupils on Thursday 2 November due to safety concerns.

It has informed school staff that temporary buildings being used to teach pupils on site will be affected by predicted strong winds.

The government also told staff that potentially very strong winds are being predicted, which will "exceed the recommended limits" for the temporary classrooms.

In an email to parents, the school said: "The health and safety of our students and staff is our absolute top priority.

"We are taking every possible precautionary measure as part of our robust health and safety procedures during this unprecedented situation."

Children are currently being taught in temporary classrooms at the school site on Durleigh Road and the Haygrove Campus at Bridgwater and Taunton College after their main school building was found to have issues with its structural integrity.

But it is these temporary buildings that are now causing issues for the school, meaning all pupils will be taught from home on Thursday.

The Haygrove School building was only completed in 2020. Credit: ITV News

The school added: "It is with great disappointment we must write to you today to say the Department for Education (DfE) has recommended we temporarily close.

"We have been assured by the DfE that once the current work underway to scaffold and wrap the main school building is complete, risk to the structure due to adverse weather will be mitigated.

"However, we have now also been advised that the temporary accommodation implemented (M block at the main school site and Haygrove Campus at BTC) to provide additional space due the main school building closure, may also be affected by strong winds and the DfE have advised that the forecasted very strong wind exceeds the recommended limits from the building provider.

"We are very sorry for the challenges this temporary closure will have on the families of students, we realise this is far from ideal.

"All students will receive remote learning for Thursday through the Arbor system."

Staff added that those pupils entitled to free school meals will be able to collect a lunch from the site's canteen on Wednesday 1 November.

A Pathways Evening for Year 9 schoolchildren has also been postponed, and the school has said it will write to parents to rearrange another date.

This is the second time the school has been forced to close due to storms since it was made to stop using the main building.

Parents of pupils also expressed concerns that their children would miss out on education when the structural integrity issues were first discovered in September.

Addressing the latest disruption, the school said: "We really do share your frustration with this situation and thank you again as always for your continued support.

"The safety of our students and staff is our top priority and we will always do what we need to do to ensure everyone remains safe."

The school concluded that while they hope to reopen the sites to pupils, 'the weather is unpredictable, [so] we will need to reassess whether we are able to open as normal on Monday 6 November.'