A CROSSKEYS primary school has been told it must spend £50,000 from its own budget on replacing broken drains and guttering.
A health and safety inspection found that some of the old metal guttering and downpipes were coming loose from the 100 year-old building, which could potentially be hazardous to pupils and staff.
The school was told by Caerphilly borough council, which owns the building and carried out the inspection, it will have to foot the bill for the damage from its annual budget.
There is also a problem of regular flooding because of drainage issues in an area at the front of the building that is intended for use by children in the foundation phase during playtimes.
Steve Milne, a parent governor at the school, called it "outrageous"
“A lot of work has been done at Waunfawr over the past couple of years to bring the classrooms up-to-date for the pupils, but to expect the school to pay tens of thousands of pounds from its budget for new guttering is outrageous,” he said.
“That’s money that should be spent on things like books and computer equipment to teach our children, not on the general maintenance of a building that’s owned by the local authority.”
“As owners of the property you would expect them to have a duty of care to pupils, staff and visitors at the school when it comes to the actual safety of the building."
He said fixing the problem in the short-term will cost over £5,000.
“That’s an expensive ‘band aid’ for something you will only have to pay for again further down the line," he added.
“It will end up costing the taxpayer more in the long-term, and would still mean that the children at the school miss out on resources they desperately need.”
A Caerphilly Council spokesman said there is an annual bidding process for school capital works which begins in the autumn, but that the school did not make this bid for 2014/15.
He said:“The school obtained some more recent technical advice and the cost to replace the fascias, soffits and guttering was advised as circa £50,000.
“For the reason outlined, the scheme has not been prioritised for funding in 2014/15.
“The further technical advice we have received is that relatively minor repairs would suffice in the shorter term."
A Welsh Water spokeswoman said it has been made aware of the drainage issues.
She said: “Whilst private drainage systems remain the responsibility of the landowner, we are carrying out a CCTV investigation to assess the condition of the local sewer to confirm there is capacity to accept the surface water from the school.”