CWMCARN ASBESTOS SCHOOL: 100 pupils return to school

South Wales Argus: BACK AT SCHOOL: Cwmcarn High School sixth form pupils, from left; Paige Florence, Matthew Morse, Ben Jones and Bethan Morgan BACK AT SCHOOL: Cwmcarn High School sixth form pupils, from left; Paige Florence, Matthew Morse, Ben Jones and Bethan Morgan

MORE than 100 pupils returned to Cwmcarn High School today a week after the school was urgently closed because of fears over exposure to asbestos.

Caerphilly council shut the school on October 12 after specialist contractors, Santia, advised the authority to look at demolishing the buildings due to the risk of further exposure to the substance.

Removing the "brown" asbestos, which is the most dangerous form, could cost millions the council said.

Year 12 and 13 pupils said they were "relieved" to return to the site so they could catch up on missed work.

Around 112 students were taught in classrooms in the performing arts block, which was built in the last five years.

A makeshift reception has been set up in the stand-alone block and pupils have posted their thoughts about the matter on a message board there.

One simply read: "The show must go on."

Head boy Matthew Morse, 17, of Newport, praised teachers for helping students complete work at home, by sending work out via Twitter and email.

He said the Cwmcarn High School community had really pulled together this part week.

He said: "The buildings might have been closed but the school wasn’t."

"It was a shock at first to hear the school had been to closed down but we have been kept in the loop from day one. "It’s been hard because I’ve got my A Levels, that something very important to me, but it’s good to be back to see all my friends."

Paige Florence, 16, said: “I am happy we are back together and see that the teachers are doing everything they can - we are the priority."

But some were concerned about the time missed.

Keeley Evans, 16, said: "When I was younger I used to think a day off was great but now I am older, it’s not as good as you think."

Davin Jones, 17, said his parents considered home tutoring before it emerged pupils could return to school, he said: "I don’t want to fall behind."

Lauren Wynn, 16, said some pupils who did not have access to email or Twitter at home had struggled. She said: "I have been able to email some work but I think they could have done more."

Year 11 pupils will return Monday when it is hoped a language block, which is connected to the older part of the school only by a corridor, could reopen.

Caerphilly councillors will attend a special council meeting on Tuesday to decide what will happen to younger students set to return on November 5. This could see them being sent to nearby schools until a decision is reached on what to do with the asbestos.

Comments (3)

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1:33pm Sat 20 Oct 12

JWG1967 says...

Im pleased to hear that the Council is meeting to discuss this issue.

None of us know what the councils plans are as yet so I hope the options to be discussed at the Council meeting next week will be made public before the meeting so us parents can have a view and make our feelings known not only to our ward councillors but to others.

Can I implore the Council to consider that the well being and educational security of our children the staff and the unique school community of Cwmcarn are paramount and not just to think of ££££s.

I sincerely and truly hope that there will be an option to keep the whole school community together either on site or elsewhere. My own child is half way through his Gcse courses, he knows his teachers they know him, he has course work partly completed. The thought of him being forced to move to another school without familiar staff, without assurances he will be able to carry on his studies un interrupted and without his friends is horrific. He is a well adjusted and emotionally resilient child and I dread to think how more sensitive children or those with special needs would cope with the upset.

The younger year groups would also suffer from a splitting up of the school.


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep the school together.
Im pleased to hear that the Council is meeting to discuss this issue. None of us know what the councils plans are as yet so I hope the options to be discussed at the Council meeting next week will be made public before the meeting so us parents can have a view and make our feelings known not only to our ward councillors but to others. Can I implore the Council to consider that the well being and educational security of our children the staff and the unique school community of Cwmcarn are paramount and not just to think of ££££s. I sincerely and truly hope that there will be an option to keep the whole school community together either on site or elsewhere. My own child is half way through his Gcse courses, he knows his teachers they know him, he has course work partly completed. The thought of him being forced to move to another school without familiar staff, without assurances he will be able to carry on his studies un interrupted and without his friends is horrific. He is a well adjusted and emotionally resilient child and I dread to think how more sensitive children or those with special needs would cope with the upset. The younger year groups would also suffer from a splitting up of the school. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep the school together. JWG1967

4:56pm Sat 20 Oct 12

lisann says...

JWG1967 wrote:
Im pleased to hear that the Council is meeting to discuss this issue.

None of us know what the councils plans are as yet so I hope the options to be discussed at the Council meeting next week will be made public before the meeting so us parents can have a view and make our feelings known not only to our ward councillors but to others.

Can I implore the Council to consider that the well being and educational security of our children the staff and the unique school community of Cwmcarn are paramount and not just to think of ££££s.

I sincerely and truly hope that there will be an option to keep the whole school community together either on site or elsewhere. My own child is half way through his Gcse courses, he knows his teachers they know him, he has course work partly completed. The thought of him being forced to move to another school without familiar staff, without assurances he will be able to carry on his studies un interrupted and without his friends is horrific. He is a well adjusted and emotionally resilient child and I dread to think how more sensitive children or those with special needs would cope with the upset.

The younger year groups would also suffer from a splitting up of the school.


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep the school together.
I can only second what JWG1967 has stated. I also have 2 children in the school and would hate for them to be moved away from the friends and the teachers they have come to know and respect.. They have worked hard and feel this would only set them back. fingers crossed that the council will do their best and put the children first .. We can only hope.
[quote][p][bold]JWG1967[/bold] wrote: Im pleased to hear that the Council is meeting to discuss this issue. None of us know what the councils plans are as yet so I hope the options to be discussed at the Council meeting next week will be made public before the meeting so us parents can have a view and make our feelings known not only to our ward councillors but to others. Can I implore the Council to consider that the well being and educational security of our children the staff and the unique school community of Cwmcarn are paramount and not just to think of ££££s. I sincerely and truly hope that there will be an option to keep the whole school community together either on site or elsewhere. My own child is half way through his Gcse courses, he knows his teachers they know him, he has course work partly completed. The thought of him being forced to move to another school without familiar staff, without assurances he will be able to carry on his studies un interrupted and without his friends is horrific. He is a well adjusted and emotionally resilient child and I dread to think how more sensitive children or those with special needs would cope with the upset. The younger year groups would also suffer from a splitting up of the school. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep the school together.[/p][/quote]I can only second what JWG1967 has stated. I also have 2 children in the school and would hate for them to be moved away from the friends and the teachers they have come to know and respect.. They have worked hard and feel this would only set them back. fingers crossed that the council will do their best and put the children first .. We can only hope. lisann

7:59pm Sun 21 Oct 12

Careful says...

It is pleasing to hear the positive progress that is being made and use of the Performing Arts building and other areas of the school for Years 11-13, as well as on-line resources for the younger pupils. My children have kept in touch with teachers on Facebook and Twitter and have downloaded coursework to complete. Whilst not an ideal situation, the teaching staff have reacted positively and have been very supportive, having had little time to react and plan, but it is good to see some progress now being made.

I share the above well recognised fact that a school is more than just a collection of buildings - it is a human entity comprising teachers and pupils - and that any solution must recognise this fact and keep this successful formula together, if it is to be seen to respect this priority.

The educational and emotional well-being of our children is a priority that all decision-makers should not underestimate. The success and achievement of that well-being in successful organisations is more about human bonds and not bricks and mortar bonds. It is well proven that organisational success is down to the quality of the leadership/managemen
t team in recognising and developing human talent. The buildings that this takes place in is of secondary importance. It is therefore paramount that the optimal decision that Councillors should be collectively seeking to find and endorsing is one that keeps that successful formula intact to continue and prosper, for our future generation of adults.

As a parent, who just like any other caring parent, highly values the educational and emotional well-being of their children, PLEASE KEEP CWMCARN HIGH SCHOOL TOGETHER.

The teaching staff and pupils have worked hard to get where they are today. They should not suffer adversely from an event (asbestos) outside their control. Please, please do all you can to come up with a solution that recognises this dedication and hard work and puts the continued success of this human formula at the forefront of your decision-making.

Let's hope this commonly valued objective is widely upheld by those that have the future of our young children in the palms of their hands.
It is pleasing to hear the positive progress that is being made and use of the Performing Arts building and other areas of the school for Years 11-13, as well as on-line resources for the younger pupils. My children have kept in touch with teachers on Facebook and Twitter and have downloaded coursework to complete. Whilst not an ideal situation, the teaching staff have reacted positively and have been very supportive, having had little time to react and plan, but it is good to see some progress now being made. I share the above well recognised fact that a school is more than just a collection of buildings - it is a human entity comprising teachers and pupils - and that any solution must recognise this fact and keep this successful formula together, if it is to be seen to respect this priority. The educational and emotional well-being of our children is a priority that all decision-makers should not underestimate. The success and achievement of that well-being in successful organisations is more about human bonds and not bricks and mortar bonds. It is well proven that organisational success is down to the quality of the leadership/managemen t team in recognising and developing human talent. The buildings that this takes place in is of secondary importance. It is therefore paramount that the optimal decision that Councillors should be collectively seeking to find and endorsing is one that keeps that successful formula intact to continue and prosper, for our future generation of adults. As a parent, who just like any other caring parent, highly values the educational and emotional well-being of their children, PLEASE KEEP CWMCARN HIGH SCHOOL TOGETHER. The teaching staff and pupils have worked hard to get where they are today. They should not suffer adversely from an event (asbestos) outside their control. Please, please do all you can to come up with a solution that recognises this dedication and hard work and puts the continued success of this human formula at the forefront of your decision-making. Let's hope this commonly valued objective is widely upheld by those that have the future of our young children in the palms of their hands. Careful

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