Sandal Magna Community Academy pupils near school return as repairs almost complete

Primary pupils forced to learn away from their own school grounds because of a defective building are nearing a return to their old classrooms.

Thursday, 28th October 2021, 1:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th October 2021, 1:18 pm

Sandal Magna Community Academy in Wakefield has been plagued by structural problems for the last decade, with a leaky roof contributing to the chaos.

As a result some year groups have had to be taught in classrooms in nearby council buildings, with parts of the school building either unsafe or unfit for teaching.

Wakefield Council has now said that the wholesale repairs taking place at the site are nearly finished, after Conservative member Tony Hames asked for an update at a full council meeting.

The school became an academy in 2010.

Coun Margaret Isherwood, the authority's portfolio holder for children and young people, told Wednesday's meeting: "We are expecting the building works to be complete by November 27, so the children will be back in.

"We're expecting the scaffolding to be removed by December 17."

Sandal Magna became an academy in 2013, but the council was deemed responsible for the repairs as the school was under its stewardship when the building up was put up in 2010.

Attempts to fix the roof over the last decade have been constantly hit by setbacks and cost taxpayers millions.

Councillor Margaret Isherwood said the work is likely to be completed next week.

An independent inquiry commissioned earlier this year exposed a number of failings and was critical of the council's management of the project.

It also recommended the authority change its approach to industrial contracts. It had previously been revealed that £430,000 had been paid out to a roofing firm over six months, despite them having been unable to do any work in that time.

Coun Isherwood also told the meeting that the council was "continuing to pursue the legal case for compensation", against the contractor responsible for putting up the school building 11 years ago.

Local Democracy Reporting Service