THE re-opening of a school which has been closed due to health and safety reasons has been delayed.
Pupils and staff had hoped to return to Gilded Hollins Community School, in Leigh, today (Monday), but maintenance work has taken longer than expected.
As a result, children will remain at Lowton CE High School for a further week.
The school has been closed since Monday September 14, after a strange odour was discovered and staff started to feel unwell.
Darran Nash, headteacher, said: “Contrary to our own hopes expressed in our previous update, we will not be able to return to Gilded Hollins just yet. We will, therefore remain at Lowton CE High School for a further week.
“Unfortunately, work to remove dozens of metres of overhead ducting, along with a very bulky Air Handling Unit that has to be cut up while still in the ceiling void, has taken longer than originally anticipated. “Once this has been completed, ceilings will be replaced and reinstated and then a deep clean of the entire building will be instigated, which will in itself take between two to three days.
“In addition we still await the results of the swab tests we were promised by Tuesday this week.
“These results are crucial to our decision making. As we have stated from the outset, we will not expose our children, staff and parents to risk.”
The chairman of governors, Liz Howarth, added: “I would like to thank Mr Nash and his staff for their professionalism and their determination to maintain their usual high standards in what could have been a very difficult situation. We are very lucky to have such a committed team of staff supporting him. They are working even harder than usual, to adapt to teaching in a totally different environment so the children continue to learn and progress.
“We are very much in the hands of the experts who have been carrying out the tests and the company doing the work at school at the moment.
“Headteacher of Lowton High School Julian Pollard and his staff have been wonderful. They could not have been more accommodating, welcoming and supportive.
“The pupils have also been wonderful with the children, treating them with respect and kindness and displaying impeccable manners.
“An added bonus of being based at the High School is that the children are able to access specialist facilities such as food technology and art rooms and equipment, so further enhancing their learning experience. I’m sure they will remember this as an adventure.”