Change of plan for fire school pupils

Headteacher Kathy McNicholas at Leyland St Mary's Catholic Technology College after the fire
Headteacher Kathy McNicholas at Leyland St Mary's Catholic Technology College after the fire
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All 730 pupils from Leyland St Mary’s Catholic Technology College will now return to school together on one site in Preston.

Early plans to divide pupils between two sites – undamaged accommodation at St Mary’s on Royal Avenue, and a former high school in Preston – have been changed to allow more time to prepare the accommodation in Leyland.

This means that all pupils will now begin the term together at the former City of Preston High School on Ribbleton Hall Drive from Monday, September 16.

Pupils will still go to the St Mary’s site by 8.55am, from where they will be taken to Ribbleton on free buses.

The additional time will allow specialists to carry out a ‘deep clean’ of the Royal Avenue accommodation and to ensure that heating, water supply and kitchen equipment are all running properly.

Headteacher Kathryn McNicholas said: “In some ways, this is a blessing because it allows all our staff and pupils to come together on one site and support each other during these crucial early days.

“It must be remembered that a school is a community of people, not a building, and our community remains intact.

“Free transport will be laid on to carry pupils from the St Mary’s site to Preston.

“I’d like to thank everyone connected with the school for their continued support and understanding of the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves.

“I can assure them that our number one priority continues to be our pupils’ education.”

Within the next few weeks, it is hoped that some year groups will return to the Leyland site, and plans remain in place to bring all pupils back to the town at the start of the January term next year.