Birmingham school hit with £1 million bill to remove asbestos

A Birmingham school was forced to close part of its building after discovering asbestos – which has cost a staggering £1 million to remove.

Hill West Primary in Four Oaks shut down the facility for Key Stage Two pupils, leaving many having to be taught both in temporary classrooms and at nearby Arthur Terry School. The school has had to gut the affected building at the huge cost with contractors on site since last August and a completion date is yet to be given.

Hill West is part of the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership, a chain of seven academies across the West Midlands. Sally Taylor, interim CEO of the Partnership, said:

“The KS2 block is effectively being rebuilt, they have had to gut it. The asbestos has been ripped out and all the external work has now finished. It is now an empty shell, which is quite exciting as we get to design it from scratch and it will end up being a fantastic facility.

“The staff, parents and pupils alike have been brilliant and have adapted to the challenges they have faced. The Year 5 pupils that are being temporarily taught at Arthur Terry School are being kept very separate from the secondary school children, they have an earlier lunch break and their own playground.”

In a blog on the school’s website, Hill West’s Head Teacher Dr Beth Clarke said:

“During the course of the last academic year it became increasingly apparent that our KS2 building had come to the end of its natural life. Although an initial completion date was suggested as October 2015, the scope of the works have changed significantly since conception.

“This delay in completion obviously causes on-going disruption, most significantly to Year 3, Year 5 and Year 6 who are being taught in temporary classrooms. The senior leadership team are continuing to monitor and evaluate the impact of this on staff and pupils and will make any necessary adjustments to teaching spaces as required, within the limited options available to us.

“I would like to thank sincerely our staff, parents and pupils for their unwavering support and understanding at this time. The positive impact of this work, of course, is that we will have a new KS2 building for all our children on completion.”

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