‘Asbestos’ school to remain closed until June

‘Asbestos’ school to remain closed until June

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Children at a North Kensington secondary school that closed in April will finally return to full-time education on Tuesday, June 4.

Latimer AP Academy closed on April 3 when asbestos was discovered inside door frames at the Victorian building, which it rents from Kensington and Chelsea Council.

Since the cancer-causing chemical was discovered, its 75 pupils have received home visits from teachers, and one lesson per week at a school in Fulham.

It has now also been confirmed that the school, for children who cannot attend mainstream school, will not reopen until September, confirming fears raised by some parents. This is while the council carries out electrical upgrades on the building in Freston Road — which “frustrated” parents only learnt last week.

But on Tuesday, pupils will go back to receiving five lessons a week in a mixture of local facilities, including the Harrow Club and the Clement James Centre. GCSE exams will continue to be sat at the Bridge Academy in Fulham.

The council said it has given £16,000 to the TBAP Trust, which manages the school, to help it overcome the disruption.

Councillor David Lindsay, the council’s cabinet member for schools said: “Working with the Trust, and through the kindness of local community groups, we’ve been able to prioritise the education of the pupils… and secure alternative sites for pupils to continue their studies and exams.”

Charlotte Healy, 30, whose son is in year 10, said: “We had a letter last week saying the school would be closed until September. It’s what we’ve expected for a few weeks, but there’s not been much communication.

“It’s still worrying. What if the school still isn’t ready by September and they have to struggle to find places again?”

She added: “My son will start year 11 and he needs to look for colleges. I’m sure this is something they should have been doing for the last few weeks.”

A TBAP spokesman said: “Learners affected by the closure of the school will have five-day provision  during the second half term. The classrooms are in other suitable community spaces. Electrical works have been planned at Latimer.”

The Trust has a “tenancy at will” arrangement on the building with Kensington and Chelsea Council. Such arrangements mean a landlord can ask a tenant to leave a property at any time.

By LDRS Reporter Owen Sheppard

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