Hartlepool headteacher praises community as school re-opens

Rift House Primary School nursery after the fire.
Rift House Primary School nursery after the fire.

The headteacher at a fire-hit school has praised the community which has helped get the school re-opened.

Fire tore through a nursery area and the Year 3 classroom at Rift House Primary School in Masefield Road at around 6pm on Sunday night.

Firefighters at the scene.

Firefighters at the scene.

A 13-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of arson after and has been released.

The school was closed to all but Year 6 pupils on Monday and yesterday for their SATs tests, but it re-opened to all children today.

Headteacher David Turner has praised the actions of emergency services, colleagues in education, and parents and others in the community for their amazing support.

He said he has been delighted by the response.

He said: “We have had parents in the nursery that are going to donate any toys they have. Also a parent of a child said he wanted to give his money box.

“We have had staff and parents that have been washing the building down and painting. There has been so many offers of fundraising events, and not just parents, but people from the past who have used the school. The amount of support that we have had from collegues in education has been amazing and it has made a huge difference.

“But it could have been a lot worse and I want to thank all the emergency services for how they dealt with it and for what they did. They were amazing.”

Mr Turner said the cost of the damage is still being assessed.

As well as the damaged classrooms, an outdoor area for the younger children in the school has also been destroyed.

He added: “All our children are back on site and its great that we have managed to keep everyone here.”

A fundraising page has been set up by Julie Bell to raise cash following the devastating blaze.

Anyone wanting to give towards the fund can log onto: https://www.gofundme.com/rift-house-school