Headteacher - flood waters came up through school toilets

L13-951   5/8/13    MBLN'Ardley Hill Academy.'wk 32 AOD JX ENGPNL00120130508153921
L13-951 5/8/13 MBLN'Ardley Hill Academy.'wk 32 AOD JX ENGPNL00120130508153921

A Dunstable school badly hit by this week’s flooding is trying to find temporary homes for its 400 pupils.

Ardley Hill School on Lowther Avenue, bore the brunt of the flash floods which hit the area on Tuesday afternoon.

Headteacher Jonathan Smith told parents: “The outside of the school was submerged in two to three feet of water. The rain water mixed with foul waste from the overflowing drains and swirled about the playground, paths and entranceways of the Academy. This water then came under doorways, through walls, up through sinks, toilets and internal manhole covers.

“The Environmental Health leader arrived early Wednesday morning and established that the entire area could not be accessed by children due to the serious risk of exposure to harmful bacteria. The site has to be cleaned with specific materials before we can be given the all clear.

“We are devastated. Staff are understandably extremely upset at seeing their classrooms and work areas looking as they currently do. It’s awful to see (and smell!) in almost every area of the academy.

“Staff are now based at the Incuba building and I cannot praise them highly enough for their unswerving dedication and hard work in response to this disaster. Please be assured that we are all working very hard to ensure that Ardley Hill Academy is fully functional as soon as possible and that your children can return to lessons.

“I am currently in negotiation with local schools and Central Beds with the aim of transferring the children toanother location as soon as possible. We are early in this process so cannot confirm any arrangements as yet, but we expect to have some definite news very early next week and I will update you further as soon as I can.”

Mr Smith told parents the clean up could take as long as six weeks.