Schools back in action after summer fires

The scene at Airedale Junior School after the blaze in July.
The scene at Airedale Junior School after the blaze in July.

Two schools damaged by fires at the start of the summer holidays are opening their doors to pupils for a new term.

A fire broke out at Airedale Junior School on July 14 and, less than a fortnight later, on July 26, parts of Castleford Park Junior Academy went up in flames.

The race has been on for both schools to open in time for the new academic year. But this week, they are welcoming pupils back.

Airedale Junior School was due to open this morning.

Acting head teacher Katie Robinson said the school lost four classrooms, a library and computer suite in the blaze.

But with help from local construction company FSH, repairs have been made to make the building safe, debris has been cleared and new temporary classrooms and equipment have been installed.

Staff have also created new resources which were lost in the fire.

Miss Robinson said: “We have had to relocate an entire year group of 107 children.

“It was touch and go as to whether we could open this week.”

She said it had been a “real community effort” to get the school back up and running with several individuals and organisations offering their services or monetary donations.

A JustGiving page was also set up and raised more than £250 for the school.

Miss Robinson said: “We are still going to provide the best education for children and it is all systems go.

“Everybody in school has pulled together and we have had so much support from the local community offering to come in and help.”

She thanked people for their kindness and said: “We really have come a long way and that is because of everybody coming together.”

Parts of the school damaged in the fire will be rebuilt. And Miss Robinson said she expected the new buildings to be ready by next June.