We have heard from a number of concerned residents about the sudden and ongoing closure of Jesmond Park Academy (JPA) due to storm damage. This impacts upon families in various wards in this part of the city, and we would like to reassure everyone that councillors across affected wards are concerned and will make every effort to keep people informed.
The storm damage to the roof is unfortunate. We recognise the importance of ensuring the school is suitably safe before pupils can return, and are sure this is being made a top priority.
Whilst official information to date has been limited, we are advised that an independent engineering survey is taking place with a view to identifying the steps that need to be taken to address the situation.
As yet we have not been informed of the anticipated cost of necessary reinstatement work and how this will be met. This is likely to be a complex situation: the "new" school building was built and is maintained under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) arrangement.
Discussions about the arising liabilities and costs of reinstatement are likely to be needed between the PFI facility management and construction partners, the academy's governing body (Gosforth Group), and the Government (DfE). None of the stakeholders has yet made any significant public comment on this
We have indicated our concern to the school leadership whilst expressing our sympathy at this unforeseen situation and our willingness to assist in any way that we can to resolve it.
Naturally, the closure has had unwelcome implications for the education of students and for the day-to-day arrangements of local families. Like many concerned parents and schoolchildren, we all very much hope the school will be in a position to reopen on Monday 6th November after this week’s half term. Newcastle City Council's Assistant Director for Education is involved in the discussions around reopening and is seeking to ensure that the best interests of students are the priority.
We know that this has been an unwelcome and anxious experience for our community.
Atlhough aspects of this situation are not within our direct control, we would like to assure students and residents that we are following this issue closely and will continue to seek answers to the questions being raised by the local community.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions or would like to let us know about any concerns.