Students will be forced to travel almost ten miles to sit their SATS – after their Nechells school was shut down amid concerns over its structural safety.
Pupils were evacuated from Nechells E-ACT Academy last Thursday, after part of a classroom ceiling came down – injuring youngsters and staff.
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The school remained closed on Friday, but was due to reopen today (Monday, May 14).
Now – after an assessment by structural engineers – the Eliot Street school has announced it will be shut for at least another week.
The decision means Year 6 pupils due to begin their SATs this week will be forced to travel almost ten miles to Merritts Brook Academy, in Northfield.
Younger students will be accommodated at nearby Heartlands E-ACT Academy from Wednesday.
But one parent told of her concerns the situation would be ‘unsettling’ to pupils, especially those about to take the important exams.
A statement on the school website read: “Following the incident at Nechells Academy, structural engineers have said there is significant work to be done in order to investigate further.
“Arrangements have been made for Year 6 pupils to be based at Merritts Brook Academy to sit their SATS and all Year 6 parents have been written to separately.
“We have an interim solution for the rest of the school, with the Sixth Form Centre – part of Heartlands E-ACT Academy – identified as an appropriate site.
“The centre will be used exclusively for Nechells pupils.
“We envisage the Centre will be ready for Wednesday, May 16, so the school will be closed on Monday and Tuesday for non-Year 6 pupils.”
In a separate letter to parents of Year 6 students, Headteacher Joanne Hall – who also runs Merritts Brook Academy – said pupils would still be taking their exams in ‘a calm and supportive environment’.
“We have now received the results of a preliminary investigation into the structure of the building and the repairs required and, as a result, the school will be closed next week,” she wrote.
“We are aware that this is a particular concern for Year 6 pupils who are due to be sitting their SATs from Monday, May 14.
“We have taken the decision to hold SATs at Merritts Brook E-ACT Academy Primary School in Northfield.
“They will be accompanied and supported by their class teachers and this will enable pupils to take their SATs in a calm and supportive environment.
“We are asking parents to drop their Year 6 children at Nechells playground as normal. Pupils will then be taken by minibus to Merritts Brook at 9am, where they will then sit their SATs.
“They will be returned to Nechells by the end of the day.”
Last week, we told how part of the ceiling in the Year 2 classroom had fallen down, injuring three children and a member of staff.
The incident happened at around 9.20am – less than half-an-hour after youngsters had arrived for the school day.
The site was immediately evacuated, while investigations were carried out.
A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 9.21am to reports of part of a roof collapsing.
“One ambulance attended the scene.
“We assessed four patients, one adult and three children.
“They were all able to be discharged on scene.
“None were taken to hospital.”
(Image: David Hurst)
Mum Aimee Exell spoke of her concerns that children would be left ‘unsettled’ by the move.
Aimee, whose child Kaleem is in Year 2, said: “On Thursday we were told the school would be open again by Monday.
“However, yesterday we received a letter in the post which told us the school was going to remain closed for at least another week.
“It is going to be unsettling for the children and particularly those about to take their SATs.
“My son loves the school and is happy, but I am concerned that he will have missed out on four days of education by the time they start back on Wednesday.”