Just as we've emerged from the pandemic, most of the students attending the King Edmund School in Rochford, have found themselves returning once again, to home study.
The closure of the school has been in place since 15th November 2022, after it was reported that asbestos had been found during building works. It goes without saying that this closure is necessary to protect the pupils and staff at the school, but what concerns me the most is the apparent lack of planning by the DfE as to how to cope with a school closure in what essentially is an emergency situation.
Recently at an Essex County Council meeting I sought further information from the cabinet member responsible on the support being given to the pupils that are affected by the closure.
I'm pleased to report that the cabinet member quickly responded to me with a detailed plan of support on offer to students. Click here for the full response.
However, it has now been announced via local news sources, that the original closure that was in place until 3rd January 2023 has since been extended until 23rd January 2023. Pupils will miss around 2 months of their education and the response by the DfE is simply not reassuring to parent, pupils and of course the staff (who will struggle to get the pupils caught up).
What's more if we look around the district at the school buildings that we have, most are of 1960's construction and there is a very high probability of these having similar issues.
The DfE needs to conduct a urgent audit of the buildings and of the disaster recovery plans of schools for the sake of our young persons education.
On hearing the news of the extension to the school closure, I have today, sent a further email to the cabniet member as I now fear parents will struggle to get additional leave from work and some may also struggle with the unexpected additional heating bills. I shall of course update this post when I receive a response to these concerns.