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Staggered return for pupils after school fire

The Gibraltar Government said there will be a staggered approach to the return of pupils at Governor’s Meadow Lower Primary School following last Sunday’s fire.

The school sustained significant damage from the fire, which was split into two focal points, and as a result of water damage when they were extinguished.

One classroom was completely destroyed and there was extensive smoke damage to three further classrooms and connecting corridors on the top floor.

There was also relative smoke damage to a further five classrooms.

Teams of workers have been hard at work since Sunday afternoon in order to get the school ready to open its doors for its pupils in a safe and welcoming manner.

GJBS have been working hard to repair the physical damage to the school building.

GEA and ITLD are in the process of assessing damage and reinstalling electrical and data services which were destroyed by the fire.

School cleaning staff have been working conscientiously to clean all the hundreds of resources and furniture items which were soiled by the smoke damage.

Teaching staff have also spent time trying to salvage what they can and have made good headway in preparing the school for the children's return.

The school has been a hive of activity and all workers have demonstrated high levels of determination to return the building to a state fit for its pupils and staff.

Morale, despite the sense of upset and loss, has been high.

The level of support from parents, colleagues and the community has been extensive and this has really helped Governor’s Meadow staff to face the arduous task of preparing to reopen within a very narrow time frame.

Governor’s Meadow School and the Department of Education would like to thank everyone who has volunteered to help get the school back on its feet.

There is, however, quite a lot of work yet to do before the school can safely reopen its doors for its pupils.

A staggered approach to the reopening of the school after this long weekend will therefore be implemented.

Tuesday April 6 will be a staff day and all Governor’s Meadow pupils will be asked to stay at home.

On Wednesday April 7, only Nursery and Reception pupils will be asked to attend.

Year 1 and Year 2 pupils will be asked to stay at home.

As from Thursday April 8 onwards, all pupils will be asked to attend school as normal.

The plans to address the fire damage have already been put into effect and those classrooms which have suffered the worst damage will be relocated temporarily elsewhere within the school footprint until the damage is completely repaired and existing classrooms are brought back to a suitable standard for learning and teaching.

“Notwithstanding the fact that contingency measures are already being effected, we are cognisant of the emotional impact of the fires and the destruction they caused and the Department of Education and senior leadership at Governor's Meadow Lower Primary School will be rolling out a programme of support for staff and pupils with the help of the GFRS, the Wellbeing Team and the School Counsellors,” the Gibraltar Government said.

“Our school staff, as always, will endeavour to make a seamless transition for our pupils upon their return to school and there are many individuals working to ensure any interruption or change that the fires and the resultant damage have caused, is kept to an absolute minimum.”

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