Funding found to fix Wakefield primary school's leaky roof after five closures since 2016

Nearly £1m worth of cash has been signed off to fix a primary school's leaky roof, which has been blamed for disrupting children's education.

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 3:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 3:31 pm
Sandal Magna Community Academy in Wakefield.

Sandal Magna Community Academy got a new school building in 2010, but its roof has been in a state of disrepair ever since, with the school having to be repeatedly closed for short periods in recent years.

Two contractors tasked with fixing it went bust, councillors were told on Tuesday, while a third company did not complete the job after the school ran out of cash for it.

Now, Wakefield Council has put up £850,000 to repair the roof. Although academies are funded by the government and their own private sponsors, the local authority has had to stump up because the problem started when the school was under its control.

Councillor Margaret Isherwood said the school closures were "not good" for pupils.

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, the council's Cabinet member for children, Margaret Isherwood, said: "The school has had five closures since 2016, and on one occasion it was shut for three days.

"It's not good for the children involved.

"The closures are becoming more necessary and more regular.

"It's vitally important this work is done. We have a responsibility, even though its now an academy, because the work was done while it was a (local authority) maintained school.

The school became an academy in 2013.

"There's no other option but to replace the roof so that the children can continue their education."

Wakefield Council did consider taking legal action against some of the professionals tasked with fixing the roof, but decided against the move over fears it may be too costly and unsuccessful.

The local authority will apply for a grant from the Department of Education in the hope of having the cash refunded.

Local Democracy Reporting Service