Cwmcarn High School reopening delayed for second time

The reopening of an asbestos-hit school, delayed following the death of a contractor at the site, is expected to be put off for a second time.

It was announced earlier this week, Cwmcarn High School, in Caerphilly county, would reopen in October, but that date is now likely to be pushed back until November.

Councillors at Caerphilly council are meeting later to discuss the issue.

It means the school will have been closed for more than a year.

The school shut in October 2012 over fears its 900 pupils were at risk after asbestos was found.

Since the closure, pupils have been taught 12 miles (19km) away at Coleg Gwent’s Ebbw Vale campus, prompting parents’ protests.

Contractors have been working to remove the substance and the school was initially expected to reopen in September.

But that timescale was affected when contractor James Paul’s was killed at the site.

Mr Paul, 26, from Abertillery, Blaenau Gwent, was working in a suspended ceiling space on 19 July when he died. It is thought he may have been electrocuted.

Caerphilly council is paying £1m to deal with the asbestos.

Councillors are expected on Friday to decide it will be 4 November before pupils transfer back from Ebbw Vale.

Head teacher Jacqui Peplinski admitted it had been a “challenging year” for the school but the disruption had not affected pupils’ exams performance.

Mrs Peplinski said: “I am absolutely delighted with the GCSE and A-level results.

“The staff and learners deserve heartfelt congratulations for their dedication and hard work. We have succeeded despite the challenging year as the children and teachers have worked together.”