South East Wales

Cwmcarn High School: Asbestos closure meetings held

Parents of more than 900 pupils at a school closed because of asbestos are waiting to hear when their children can return to lessons.

Cwmcarn High School in Caerphilly county was shut late on Friday after a structural report identified asbestos.

Education officials, teaching staff and engineers discussed the situation on Monday.

Caerphilly council said public health officials were due to offer their views in the next 24 hours.

"[The] council is working with the public health service to analyse the findings of the structural report received by the authority on Friday afternoon," Caerphilly council said in a statement.

"It is anticipated that the public health professionals will provide their views on the findings within the next 24 hours.

"The council is currently working with the school's senior leadership team and governors to explore alternative arrangements for pupils and staff, but this is unlikely to be resolved this week.

"Every effort is being made to accommodate pupils in years 11, 12 and 13 as a priority."

The announcement that the school was to close with immediate effect came unexpectedly on Friday afternoon.

The council said the action had been taken to safeguard the health and wellbeing of pupils and staff following a structural report at the school.

Council officials said the closure was "until further notice" while a detailed asbestos investigation was undertaken.

'Unforeseen circumstances'

In a letter, head teacher Jacqui Peplinski sought to reassure parents.

"The school closure is a temporary situation and the matter will be resolved," she said.

The headteacher said she learned of the decision to close the school only at 14:45 BST on Friday.

She added: "The learners are the heart of the school and we remain committed to the children's education.

"Please be assured that I will communicate with you and keep you updated via the school website and letters.

"In the meantime, we will all work together in order to find a solution to these unforeseen circumstances."

Caerphilly council said the latest updates would be announced on its website.

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