CWMCARN ASBESTOS SCHOOL: 100 pupils return to school
4:14pm Friday 19th October 2012 in Gwent news
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.