Wakefield school closed five times since 2016 because of leaky roof left unfixed for a decade

The new school building was completed in 2010.
The new school building was completed in 2010.

A primary school has been forced to close on five occasions since 2016 because of a leaky roof that's been left unfixed for almost a decade.

The problem, at Sandal Magna Community Academy in Wakefield, has caused damage to furniture and fire safety failures, leading to persistent disruption for staff and pupils, a report has said.

On one occasion, the school was closed for three consecutive days.

On one occasion, the school was closed for three consecutive days.

The school has had a faulty roof ever since 2010, when its new building was completed, but two contractors tasked with fixing it went bust before the work was complete.

A third company was asked to do the job but a shortage of cash meant that the problem remains.

On one occasion, the school had to close for three consecutive days because of the roof.

Now Wakefield Council is preparing to fork out £850,000 to have the roof fixed, amid fears closures will become more "necessary and regular".

The school became an academy in 2013.

The school became an academy in 2013.

A report going before senior councillors next week said: "Every time there is inclement weather there is an increased concern relating to the potential disruption to the childrens' teaching and learning and the school's function to deliver."

The council has spent £60,000 to date on completing patch repairs to the roof, but the report added, "The works have not been sufficient to stop the continued roof leaks and consequential internal damage, including issues with electrical services, which continue to degrade.

"Added to this is the increased risk of further prolonged school closures and the negative impact on teaching and learning for the pupils and the school staff."

Academies, which are free of local authority control, are supposed to be funded through a combination of the Department of Education (DofE) and their own private sponsors.

But the council says that the Enhance Academy Trust, which runs Sandal Magna, expects the local authority to fund the work.

This is because the issues date back to when the new school building was put up, at which point it was under the council's stewardship.

An application will be made to the DofE in a bid to recoup some of the money, but this is not guaranteed to be successful.

The council's Cabinet will be asked to sign off the cash at a meeting next Tuesday.

The Enhance Academy Trust could not be reached for comment.

Local Democracy Reporting Service