Wales

Fears of rats getting into Newport primary school

Monnow Primary School
Image caption Newport council said no money would be made available for Monnow Primary School

A primary school will not receive money for repairs despite fears rats may enter classrooms through "decaying" windows.

An inspection of Newport's Monnow Primary School raised concerns some children were also learning in cold classrooms.

School governors blamed the state of disrepair of the building.

Newport council denied there were rats and said there were schools in even more need in the city.

Councillor Janet Cleverly, a governor at the school, said she feared rats could come in through the "decaying" windows.

She said there were "health and safety issues" and that the school was in "dire need".

Image caption Councillor Janet Cleverly said Monnow Primary School is in "dire need"

"I was absolutely shocked, the wood is just falling apart. Because the wood is so dilapidated I was worried rats would get into the building," she said.

"It's really cold for our young people and they shouldn't have to go to school in those sorts of conditions.

"In the cold weather that we've had recently they're absolutely freezing."

At the end of last year Councillor Gail Giles, cabinet member for education and skills in Newport council, said the authority was aware of the issues at the school but that no money would be made available.

She said: "Unfortunately this is not an isolated situation as there are various maintenance pressures affecting many schools across the estate."

Ms Giles said issues with the decaying windows did "not appear high enough in the priority matrix to be funded", and the "windows are unlikely to receive investment for some time" because of limited funding.

During the health and safety inspection at the end of last year, governors at the school said they were "shocked" at the state of the building.

They had concerns rats may enter the school buildings because of problems with vermin in the surrounding area.

Governors said drain pipes were being held together by tape and there was perspex in the windows instead of glass.

Image caption During the health and safety inspection at the end of last year, governors said they were "shocked" at the state of the building

Catherine Bevan, a parent at the school, said she was not surprised there was concern about rats.

She said: "I only live two minutes from the school and there's a reen [a ditch] right in front of it and there's rats out there all the time."

'Limited funding'

Monnow Primary School would not comment and referred BBC Wales to Newport council.

A Newport council spokesperson said: "Maintenance issues are recorded for all Newport schools and the council is aware of the issues at Monnow Primary.

"It is included in the maintenance programme but limited funding is available for all schools and it is not one of the highest priorities.

"A survey of the whole school estate is under way to ensure any additional pressures are identified so they can be included in the maintenance programme."

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