Plans revealed for fire ravaged school

GALLERY Teaching bosses have revealed their plans for the start of the new term at a middle school gutted by fire.

Will Clarke

TEACHING bosses have revealed their plans for the start of the new term at a middle school gutted by fire.

As bulldozers yesterday moved in to remove the remains of St Felix School in Newmarket, Suffolk County Council pledged children's education would not suffer.

They plan to build a £1.5million temporary education “village” over half the playing fields at the back of the school campus.

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However, until October half term, classes will be taking place in temporary accommodation and with the new intake receiving classes in their old primary schools.

Linda Howe, chairman of the joint emergency planning group, said the “St Felix village” would be fitted out to the highest standards and in some cases the temporary buildings would be more spacious and better equipped than the old facilities.

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“They are going to be very well appointed,” she said. “People say they are more spacious than their usual classrooms.

“There will be interactive whiteboards, air conditioning and quality carpeting.”

Mrs Howe stressed all the pupils would receive the same high-standard education as before the fire and would all be wearing the St Felix uniform to foster a sense of school identity.

She said the beginning of term would be held back to give staff until September 8 to prepare classes.

“It is hard to imagine the damage to the school unless you see it,” she added. “It is rare to lose a whole school and it is very sad for the staff who have put so much effort into creating a pleasant environment.

“But the essence of a school is good teaching and the staff are still here.”

A 14-year-old has appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court charged with deliberately starting the fire, which destroyed the middle school on August 5.

The court heard that the youngster, who cannot be named because of his age, had also been charged with breaching an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) curfew in Newmarket on April 16.

The court ordered him to remain at a secure home until the next hearing today. He has not yet entered a plea to either charge.

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