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Mobile classroom sparks concern

PUBLISHED: 17:14 19 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:14 03 July 2010

CONCERNS have been raised about pupils at Cobholm Primary School continuing to use a mobile classroom nearly a year after the school gained its primary status.

CONCERNS have been raised about pupils at Cobholm Primary School continuing to use a mobile classroom nearly a year after the school gained its primary status.

As yet, Norfolk County Council's property services department has not submitted a planning application for new permanent classrooms - a year after the council's children's services director promised to prioritise the work to be ready for the transfer.

The result has been that the children have been kept in limbo while having to use the mobile facility, which many county councillors consider inadequate.

Councillor John Holmes said a number of different plans had been proposed for the classrooms at the school's Mill Road site, with the most recent going on display a couple of months ago. But these had been withdrawn because of fears the new facilities would not fit in the space available.

He told a meeting of the council's Great Yarmouth area committee the current situation was a nightmare for the children.

“We want children to have decent classrooms. The county council has had a huge amount of money to do the reorganisation and to tell them they need a mobile classroom is madness to me,” he said.

The council's children's services department has agreed to contribute a slice of a government grant it received for the reorganisation work to the new classrooms. And the department's director Alison Cunningham agreed to prioritise the Cobholm work so it had capacity for the extra students arriving as a result of the transfer, which would increase the school's population from 120 to 210.

In September, the school's headteacher Julie Risby said although the children liked the mobile room because it made them feel a bit different, they had to walk over to the school's main building to go to the toilet.

The school had opted out of a private finance initiative so all funding had to come from the county council.

A report by the council's children's services department revealed all schools had received their 2008/9 budget allocation for works associated with the reorganisation, while all building work was on schedule to be completed on

time.

The reorganisation aims to enable pupils to transfer to secondary school aged 11 - bringing schools in the area in line with the national structure.

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