Third school ordered to close over high wind safety concerns

Credit: Buckton Fields primary school

The education minister, Nick Gibb, has raised concerns about the safety of a third school that has been closed due to the ongoing crisis.

The Government has said that schools constructed by Caledonian Modular might not be strong enough for ‘strong winds’ or ‘heavy snow’.

The latest school affected is Buckton Fields Primary School in Northampton.

After being operational for only two years, the Department for Education has declared that the school will not be able to resume classes for the upcoming term.

The Preston Hedges Trust, responsible for Buckton Fields Primary, announced that students will be relocated to an area within its Pineham Barns school until the October half-term.

According to the trust’s CEO, Paul Watson, arrangements are being made to build a temporary structure by October while they carry out inspections and rectify the problems with the existing building, so the primary school can re-open for their pupils.

Two secondary schools, Haygrove School in Bridgwater, Somerset, and Sir Frederick Gibberd College in Harlow, Essex, have been instructed to remain closed for the new term, mirroring the recent closure of the primary school.

Both of these secondary educational institutions were constructed by Caledonian Modular as part of a consolidated £38 million agreement within the Department for Education’s modular framework, established in 2020 to expedite building projects and achieve improved cost-effectiveness.

Additionally, two primary schools in Cornwall, which were only partially built by Caledonian Modular before it faced insolvency in March 2022, were entirely dismantled earlier this year.