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More temporary school classrooms planned after safety fears over existing block

By Dayna Farrington | Oldbury | Education | Published:

New £800,000 temporary classroom blocks at an Oldbury school will relieve stress from staff and pupils – after a block was closed over fears for its structure.

Perryfields High School, in Oldbury. Picture: Google

The Jubilee Block building at Perryfields High School, containing 28 classrooms, was closed by Sandwell Council with “immediate effect” after an inspection found it was potentially unsafe – only six years after it was opened in 2012.

Temporary classrooms have been brought in – but the school remains short on space for its pupils and will now have to fork out £800,000 for eight more mobile units.

It has caused major issues for the school, which has more than 1,100 students, including the stress on its staff and pupils – particularly year 11 students who are due to sit their GCSEs in a matter of weeks, said Sandwell Council leader Steve Trow.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet agreed the measures at their meeting yesterday which included proceeding with tender for the purchase of eight temporary mobile classroom units and to approve the allocation of £800,000 from the council’s capital grants to purchase the accommodation.

Pupils at Perryfields are currently using 12 temporary classrooms, but the cabinet approval will now see a further eight delivered as soon as possible.

Councillor Trow told the meeting: “This is a school in my own ward which is currently, and in recent months, having to meet considerable challenges after problems with the Jubilee Block which was built not so many years ago.

“Structural difficulties and defects have been discovered quite suddenly, quite early, and required the closure of the block in December. Since then the council has had to move very quickly to try and install temporary units.

“This report allows us to bring that number up to 20 and the proposal is that this will be done by purchasing those temporary units, rather than hiring them. It will also provide us with an asset usable in other contexts and in other schools.

“It will help to solve the immediate challenges and I can’t emphasise how important those challenges are. Stress has been placed on school staff and indeed on pupils, especially year 11 pupils who are coming up to their GCSEs this year.”

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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