A SCHOOL built under the previous government’s private finance initiative (PFI) has been forced to close temporarily for urgent repairs - just eight years after opening.

Parents were told of structural problems involving the flooring at South Bank Primary School this morning (Tuesday, June 3) and of plans to temporarily move the pupils and teaching staff to the revamped Teesville Infant School site, while work to remedy the problem takes place.

The school opened in 2006 as part of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council’s £155m modernisation programme, which saw new schools built across the area.

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PFI contractor, Carillion will carry out work to revamp and improve the former Teesville Infant school site before the South Bank pupils and staff move in at the start of the next academic year in September 2014.

Headteacher Helen Hall said: “The school has worked closely with the local authority to agree a solution with the PFI contractor and provider to the problem with the building.

“A number of options were presented to the school and governors and we decided that the best outcome for the pupils and staff was for the structural problems to be resolved and for the school to move temporarily to the vacant Teesville Infant School site.”

The contractor will spend about year working on removing and replacing the ground floor slab and ground fill material at the school.

A spokesperson for PFI contractor, Carillion, said: “We have been working very closely with Redcar & Cleveland Council and South Bank Primary to develop a plan to resolve the issues and will continue to do so in the coming months as work begins on the school.”

A free bus service for pupils, paid for by the contractor, will be provided and for pupils who choose to walk there will be a ‘safe route’ to the Teesville site.

The council’s cabinet member for corporate resources, Norman Pickthall, said: “The Teesville Infant School site is approximately 1km from South Bank Primary and the council is pleased to be able to work with the school to ensure the uninterrupted on-going education of their pupils by offering the vacant Teesville site.”

A drop-in session for parents and carers will be held at Gillbrook Academy auditorium between 5pm to 7pm on Thursday (June 5).

A dedicated email address is available for anyone who may wish to raise further queries following the events: email queries@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk or alternatively contact the council on 01642-774774.