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UPDATE Russell Scott Primary School
Wednesday 18th May 2016 @ 11:33 by Tom Greggan
Denton & Audenshaw News

Fire Safety

The school claimed last night that: “the fire strategy is compromised and is in need of urgent rectification,” but Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service say this is not the case. A statement from Tameside Council said:

“Following a Fire Safety Inspection of Russell Scott Primary School today, Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service have advised that the school is safe in relation to fire safety and the children’s safety at the school has never been, and will not be, compromised when they return to school. This reassurance is of course subject to the school complying fully with the fire safety procedures in place.”

Tameside Council and Carillion

Tameside Council and Carillion have released the following statement regarding the closure of Russell Scott Primary School:

“Tameside Council and Carillion plc are surprised and disappointed by the sudden closure of Russell Scott Primary School in Denton announced by the Head Teacher on social media at 19:27 last night (17 May 2016) and notified to the Council half an hour later.

“The Council are currently working to establish on what legal basis the Head Teacher and Governors made the decision to close the school. A decision neither the Head Teacher nor Chair of Governors discussed with the Council. The school has not made us aware of any technical or professional advice, which states the school environment is unsafe and should be closed. The School has the necessary fire, building control and other certificates required by law and is insured to operate.

“Our priority now is to work with the school to ensure it re-opens as soon as possible in the best interests of all pupils and parents.

“To provide assurance to parents, staff and pupils we have arranged for a comprehensive fire risk assessment to be undertaken today by a qualified fire officer.

“Both Tameside Council and Carillion plc have a long track record of successfully building new and refurbished schools to the highest of standards with a 100% safety record. The safety of staff and pupils is of the utmost importance to Tameside Council and Carillion plc. We acknowledge that any building project poses challenges for schools but under no circumstances would we place pupils and staff in an unsafe environment.”

Andrew Gwynne MP

Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“I am extremely concerned about the closure of Russell Scott primary school in Denton. Clearly the safety of the staff and pupils is paramount, and I want the very serious concerns that have been raised, properly investigating as quickly as possible with any defects at the school being rectified swiftly.

“I understand there is an impasse between Carillion, Tameside Council and the school over the situation, and I will do all I can to bring all parties to a position where they are able to work together to resolve the current issues at the school.

“In the meantime, we need quick action and assurances on the safety issues, and if they cannot be provided, a temporary solution is required in order to accommodate the children, so that their education can continue uninterrupted.”