Pupils back at flood-hit school

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PRIMARY school pupils were back in the classroom after staff spent a "long, hard week" assessing damage caused by floods.

Brougham Primary School, in Brougham Terrace, Hartlepool, was closed for all of last week after burst pipes and a crumbling ceiling caused flooding four-inches deep.

Furniture and carpets throughout the school building were ruined by the water, caused by the big thaw after the freezing festive weather conditions.

But after the school doors swung back open for the children yesterday, Julie Thomas, headteacher at the school, said the situation could actually have been a lot worse.

Mrs Thomas said: "The water did cause significant damage to two school halls and a number of classrooms.

"But it could have been a lot worse.

"The water which had leaked in stopped just before the ICT suite.

"If it had got into there, it would have cost us thousands of pounds.

"And the water was actually clean, which made a difference, if it was dirty water it could have caused more damage."

After getting the go-ahead from insurers, staff at the school spent the majority of last week getting rid of the damaged items.

And Mrs Thomas said she was relieved to get the children back into the classroom.

"Obviously you don't want the children to miss school time." she added.

"So it was important we got them back in as soon as possible, but made sure it was safe at the same time.

"Due to the damage caused by the water, we have had to have a bit of a shuffle moving year-groups into different classrooms.

"But luckily computers, a lot of books, and the children's work weren't damaged by the water.

"If they had been ruined, it would have made a nightmare week even worse."

Mrs Thomas added: "We have been looking in to how we can prevent things like this happening in the future and we will be doing our best to make sure we don't have to deal with the same situation again.

"We were told it was important to check the premises on a daily basis in holiday time, just to make sure that everything is as normal."