A WINCHESTER school is having to relocate its pupils for the second time in only 14 years due to flood damage.
For over two weeks St Bede Church of England Primary School has been unable to use its toilets due to groundwater flooding, and on February 10 and 11 it was forced to close completely.
The staff entrance on Park Avenue was also subject to extensive flooding, as were areas of the playground, making it unsafe for younger children.
Some 300 pupils from Reception to Year 4 have been relocated across Winchester after the half term holiday in a bid to keep their education consistent, with Year 2 at Kings’ School as of February 25, and Years 3 and 4 at The Westgate School in Fulflood.
Reception and Year 1 are relying on home learning clubs, until the week beginning March 3 where there will be part time education at Laterns Children’s Centre in Weeke for Reception, and at Winnall Primary School and Winchester Discovery Centre for Year 1.
On March 10 all Reception to Year 4 pupils will move to the temporary site at The Henry Beaufort School in Harestock.
Pupils from Years 5 and 6 will remain at St Bede.
Head teacher, Louise Fitzpatrick, said she couldn’t thank other schools, authorities and local people enough.
She said: “It has been a fantastic community effort to help out a local school. We have seen the best of people’s generosity of spirit helping us in our hour of need.
“Local authorities have been amazingly helpful and are providing a temporary school for us on the site of Henry Beaufort and we are very grateful to the head teacher, Sue Hearle, and the governors for allowing us to temporarily be on their site.
“Year 5 and 6 pupils will be staying on site, but it’s not a situation for little ones. The flooding was extensive but didn’t come into the building.”
That is a very different story to the winter floods of 2000/01 which saw the school submerged and forced to close for 18 months.
It has since been rebuilt and raised two feet.