Crumbling Calderdale schools are to be rebuilt

Copley Primary School and playing fields.
Copley Primary School and playing fields.

Two crumbling Halifax schools will be rebuilt after years of concern over their condition.

Work is to begin “immediately” on Copley Primary School and Moorside Community Primary School, Ovenden, following a meeting of Calderdale Council and the Department for Education (DfE).

Moorside Primary School, Ovenden.

Moorside Primary School, Ovenden.

Copley, Moorside and Cragg Vale Junior and Infant School were grouped together for funding by the DfE, but issues arose last year when a paper on the long-term options for Cragg Vale was withdrawn thereby halting progress on Copley and Moorside.

But following the meeting, the two schools can now move forward without the need to make a long-term decision on the future of Cragg Vale.

Stuart Smith, the council’s director of children’s services said work will start immediately.

A number of concerns had been raised about conditions children were being taught in at Copley, with Councillor Andrew Tagg (Con, Skircoat) slamming it as “totally unacceptable” and “bordering on being classed as unsafe”.

A statement from the school’s governers said: “Despite appearances from the outside, the structural condition of the school building has deteriorated significantly over the last three years to the point where the only viable option available is to rebuild the school completely.

“We believe that the children deserve to be taught in a safe and modern environment that supports their education and enables the staff to continue to provide outstanding teaching.

“Calderdale Council has supported the school and its governing body by carrying out temporary repairs to the building during this three year period, and the school staff have done a fantastic job in keeping the school open with the disruption of major repairs.

“The underlying problems have continued to impact the structure and as a result the condition of the school has continued to get worse. We are therefore delighted to receive the news that the council and the Department for Education have given the go ahead for the school to be rebuilt.”

Councillors Megan Swift (Lab, Town) and Andrew Tagg (Con, Skircoat) said they were delighted with the news and Coun Tagg thanked Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker for his involvement and for raising the issue with the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan. 
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