MORE than 200 pupils at a town primary school will not be able to return to the classroom next week because of delays in summer building work.
Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School, in Seaton Carew, was due to re-open for the new school year on Monday, but this will not now be possible.
Letters have now been sent out to the families of all 215 pupils at the Crwford Street school so that they can make alternative childcare arrangements.
It is hoped that the school will be able to open as usual on Monday, September 10.
Headteacher Amanda Baines said: “It is with regret that we have taken this decision to postpone the school’s re-opening.
“I fully appreciate the inconvenience that this will cause all our families and I apologise unreservedly for this.
“However, we have really been left with no choice. These long-awaited improvement works are very extensive and we have also encountered some unexpected issues as the work has progressed, largely due to the age of the building which is 169-years-old.
“The improvement works actually began before the start of the summer holidays and we fully expected them to be finished in time for the new school year.
“However, it recently became obvious that this would not be the case and this decision was taken after a meeting of governors, diocese representatives and local authority officials – guided by a team of health and safety experts.”
The improvement works, which are costing around £200,000, include the installation of a replacement boiler and new gas mains, electrical re-wiring, installation of a new heating system and damp-proofing.
They are being largely funded and managed by the Church of England’s Durham Diocese.
During next week’s closure, the school will be carrying out staff training at the town’s Education Development Centre in Seaton Lane.