Keys handover heralds return for Cwmcarn school

Campaign Series: THE KEY: Rhianon Passmore hands over keys to Cwmcarn High School to headteacher Jacqui Peplinksi, watched by school governor and Abercarn Member cllr Denver Preece and Chair of Governors, Gareth Thomas. THE KEY: Rhianon Passmore hands over keys to Cwmcarn High School to headteacher Jacqui Peplinksi, watched by school governor and Abercarn Member cllr Denver Preece and Chair of Governors, Gareth Thomas.

PUPILS and staff at Cwmcarn High School are ready to make their much-anticipated return back to their school site following the handover of keys from Caerphilly council.

School governors joined Sixth Form pupils on Monday (Dec 16) to witness the cabinet member for Education and Lifelong Learning, Rhianon Passmore, hand the building keys over to headteacher Jacqui Peplinski.

The council says it has been working closely with the school's leadership to ensure a smooth transition from Ebbw Vale back to the site in Cwmcarn.

Both sides had hoped to re-open the school in early November, following the October half-term holiday, but a later statement said “additional works will cause a further delay to this timescale” and it was not likely to fully open until 2014.

Asbestos removing work was previously delayed following the death of 26-year-old contractor James Paul, who had been working on the site. An inquest opening heard that Mr Paul, from Abertillery, was electrocuted, with an investigation delaying asbestos-removal work.

There were protests earlier this year urging Caerphilly council to re-open Cwmcarn High School, with pupils moved to a site in Ebbw Vale.

But the council now says preparations are well underway, with pupils and staff to be reunited at their school site on Monday, January 6.

Headteacher Jacqui Peplinski said: "I'm delighted that preparations are well underway to welcome staff and pupils back to school on January 6. It will be fantastic for everyone connected with the school to be back home together in the New Year."

Cllr Passmore said: "This is an important day for the whole school community, and signals the end to what has been a challenging 12 months. I'd like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to get the school back to the site and we now look forward to the first day of term back at Cwmcarn."

Gary Thomas, Chairman of Governors, added: "Stability is important for both staff and pupils, hence this is a significant step towards having everybody back on campus in the New Year. It is good to be back on the green, green grass of home."

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