Holidays extended by boiler trouble

St Helens primary school. September 2011
St Helens primary school. September 2011

PUPILS at a Hartlepool school enjoyed an extended holiday due to problems with its water supply.

Youngsters at St Helen’s Primary School, in Durham Street, on the Headland, were due to return to school yesterday after the summer holidays like thousands of other children across the town.

But, they were given an extra day off after parents were sent a text message on Thursday last week informing them that their kids would not be able to return to school as scheduled due to problems with the water supply.

The text message read: “A problem has arisen in school affecting the water supplies. For health and safety reasons we cannot open to pupils on Monday. We will keep you informed.”

Yesterday though, head teacher Viv Ingleton authorised another text to be sent to parents, many of whom would have had to arrange more childcare, giving them the all clear for pupils to return today.

Mrs Ingleton said: “Unfortunately, the school boiler broke down last Friday, September 2, and it quickly became clear that it couldn’t be repaired straightaway.

“We immediately sent a text message to all parents to let them know that the school would be closed yesterday.”

She added: “A replacement part has been ordered for the boiler and in the meantime we have arranged for temporary boilers.

“We sent a further text message to all parents yesterday to inform them that the school will be open today.”

Dad-of-two Ian Monaghan, whose nine-year-old daughter Martha Monaghan attends the school, said the extra day off did disrupt childcare arrangements, but was very happy at the way the school had kept him informed.

The 43-year-old journalist, who lives on the Headland, said: “Me and my partner did have to rearrange things slightly, but I suppose it can’t be helped if there’s a technical problem at the school.

“They did give us plenty of notice though so there was plenty of time for us to sort childcare out.”