New arrangements confirmed for pupils affected by Derby school blaze

Published: 20 October 2020

Council House at night

Pupils from Ravensdale Infant & Nursery School, which was destroyed by fire a fortnight ago have been found alternative temporary accommodation, Derby City Council has confirmed.

The decanting arrangements affect around 277 pupils who have been remote learning since the blaze occurred during the early hours of Monday 5th October.

Despite brave attempts from Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service, the building in Devonshire Drive, Mickleover was severely damaged.

Since then, Derby City Council has been drawing up plans to enable bubbles of children and staff to transfer to local schools. Year groups will be kept together with staff moving to support pupils.

Reception children will move to Highfields Spencer Academy on Wednesday 4th November, with Year One pupils transferring to Hackwood Primary, an academy operated by The Harmony Trust on Thursday 5th November.

These arrangements, which affect around 180 children will be in place until the end of the school year, July 2021.

Children from Ravensdale Nursery will move to the Children’s Centre at Brookfield Primary School on Wednesday 4th November.

From Tuesday 3rd November, Year 2 pupils will access lessons at Murray Park Secondary School until April next year. The cohort will then see out the remainder of the school year in temporary classrooms on the Ravensdale Infant / Junior site.

From September 2021, it is proposed that Years 1 and 2 pupils move to the new Castleward Primary School in Carrington Street. The £8 million new school is at the heart of the new Castleward Urban Village Development in the city centre and is scheduled to be completed by next summer. The children will remain there until Ravensdale Infants has been rebuilt for April 2022.

Arrangements are now in place to provide furniture, equipment and learning resources to the new sites.

Councillor Evonne Williams, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People today expressed her appreciation for the support offered by the Academy Trusts.

This has been a deeply upsetting time for the school and our pupils, but I’m amazed by the support and help that’s been offered by the community. I’d like to thank parents and carers for their patience. The school has worked incredibly hard to keep year groups together. We felt this was really important after what has been a difficult year and I’d like to thank the teaching staff, Derby City Council officers as well as our Trust partners for their speedy delivery of these arrangements.

I’m especially grateful to The Spencer Academy Trust, The Harmony Trust, The Learners Trust, The Transform Trust as well as Murray Park School for accommodating the various year groups. This will allow children to continue their education with their friends and the teachers whom they know and trust. We’re continuing to support the St Mary’s Catholic Voluntary Academy which was also devastated by a fire.

Lorna Blanchenot, Head Teacher at Ravensdale Infants, said:

I want to thank staff, families and friends who have supported us since the fire. We’ve been working closely with the new venues in finalising arrangements for the children and our staff. Pupils will continue to wear the Ravensdale Infant and Nursery uniform no matter which school they attend, as we felt this will help retain their identity in their new schooling environment.

The local authority is continuing to work with its insurance assessors to assess the damage to the Ravensdale Infant school building.

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