Rob Thomas, Vale of Glamorgan Council Chief Executive, said: “Y Bontfaen Primary School has closed to some pupils for a short period following a risk assessment, undertaken as part of roof repair work. The immediate safety issues were promptly resolved last weekend, but it has not been possible to completely rule out further safety issues, as investment work in the school building progresses.
“The safety of pupils and staff is the Council’s absolute priority. For this reason, Years, 3, 4, 5 and 6 will be taught at alternative locations for the rest of the term while work to repair the roof and fit new suspended ceilings, along with associated lighting, is carried out. Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils will continue attending the school as normal. Staff from the Council have worked closely with staff at the school to ensure that the response to concerns was swift. Arrangements for alternative learning locations were made without delay to keep pupil disruption to an absolute minimum.
“This action has been taken as a precautionary measure to avoid putting anyone at even the slightest risk and to ensure work can be completed as quickly as possible.
“Contrary to many suggestions, the need to temporarily find alternative locations for certain year groups is not as a result of the lack of investment in the school, but rather the unintended consequences that have emerged as a result of significant investment in the school building. Phase two of Y Bontfaen’s roof repair began on April 4 and is the latest example of significant recent Council investment in the school, which is set to total more than £400,000 by the summer. As this is a 16-week project, it was not possible to contain work to the school holidays. It was also expected to be completed safely during term time as the first phase of the roof repair was carried out without the need for pupils to be relocated.
“No other safety issues of any kind have been identified by the risk assessment.
“Council departments responsible for property, education and health and safety have been in regular contact with the school and contractors this week to carefully manage the response to the challenges presented.
“I’d like to apologise to pupils, parents and staff for the inconvenience this unforeseen situation may cause and also offer reassurance that the Council is committed to ensuring pupils’ educational experience is not negatively impacted in any way whilst investment by the Council into the school building is progressed."