Leyland St Mary’s to re-open on September 16

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Leyland St Mary’s Catholic Technology College will re-open to all of its pupils on Monday, September 16, just two weeks after suffering a devastating fire two days before the start of term.

Headteacher Kathryn McNicholas told parents today that the school will re-open to all pupils on two sites, with some year groups initially using undamaged accommodation at the school’s site on Royal Avenue, and others using the former high school site on Ribbleton Hall Drive in Preston.

Fire aftermath at Leyland St Mary's Catholic Technology College

Fire aftermath at Leyland St Mary's Catholic Technology College

All pupils are expected to be back together on the Royal Avenue site no later than the beginning of the spring term, which starts on Monday, January 6, 2014, in a mixture of surviving classrooms and temporary accommodation.

Those pupils who will be educated at the Ribbleton site will travel to school in Leyland as normal, before being transported to Ribbleton on free buses. More details on which year groups will use which site and the exact travel arrangements for those affected will be announced as soon as possible.

Headteacher Kathryn McNicholas said: “I am extremely pleased to announce that the school will re-open so soon and would like to thank parents, pupils and everyone connected with the school for their patience and support at what has been a very difficult time.

“We have been working very hard with our staff and the county council to ensure that we can get pupils back to school as soon as possible and I am confident that these temporary arrangements will enable us to continue to offer our pupils an excellent education.

“In parallel with these arrangements we will be pushing ahead with plans to rebuild the school on its current site.

“What has been inspirational at this difficult time is the realisation that, whatever has happened, the spirit of the school remains intact and resolute.”

County Councillor Matthew Tomlinson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “The levels of goodwill and solidarity shown towards the school have been truly humbling and I’m delighted that we have been able to provide the necessary practical support to enable the school to open so quickly.

“I understand that this has been a difficult time for parents and pupils alike but it is testament to the hard work of the school and officers of the county council and the diocese that alternative arrangements have been put in place so quickly.

“I would like to thank everyone involved in what has been a remarkable effort, including local residents in Ribbleton, who I’m sure will give a warm welcome to their temporary guests.”