Calls have again been sounded to speed up the build of a new school in Middlesbrough as delays run into a sixth year.

A new school at Middlehaven for Outwood Riverside Academy pupils at Middlehaven was first agreed by Middlesbrough Council back in 2018 and two years later, pupils moved into temporary accommodation on Russell Street. Issues with a building contractor and the pandemic meant the site missed its original 2023 opening and the completion date was pushed back to 2026.

With no sign of building work starting at the site, pressure is mounting from politicians. Describing the delays as “absolutely ridiculous”, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member for education and culture, Cllr Philippa Storey said they are continuing to push the Department for Education to get spades in the ground.

Earlier this year, parents criticised plans to teach the 2024 intake of the school at another temporary location, almost five miles away at the site of the former Eston Park Academy. The school said a state of the art facility would be provided with “fit for purpose” buildings while free transport will be provided to and from Russell Street with a journey time of 10 to 15 minutes.

In a report to the Full Council, Cllr Storey said: “It has been confirmed that no further remedial work is now needed on the site, other than what had already been agreed. This removed another potential delay to getting spades in the ground at site.

“The planning for the temporary accommodation that is being erected on the Eston site for the year seven children is well underway and the Trust and Department for Education are working together to ensure the accommodation meets the needs and requirements of the students. This is not ideal for anyone and I know that many parents have issues with their children being bused off site.

“This is not fault of the school or teachers – they have worked incredibly hard, along with students to maintain educational and Ofsted standards at the school. Again I urge the Department for Education to expedite this process and get spades in the ground at the earliest opportunity.”

Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald said said they are still not seeing any “meaningful progress” being made on building the school. “That is demonstrably unfair on pupils, parents and teachers who to their absolute credit have created an environment which has led to Ofsted rating the school as good,” he said.

“Some children will spend their entire secondary school experience in temporary accommodation and the Department for Education should be deeply embarrassed by this never-ending delay. The site for the school is ready, Middlesbrough Council have confirmed there is no further remediation works which need carrying out, so let’s now see the DfE get spades in the ground and not waste any more time.”

A DfE spokesperson said they were working with the council and Outwood Grange Academies Trust to progress the opening of the school. “Temporary accommodation was provided ahead of schedule and additional temporary accommodation will be provided to ensure the council is able to provide sufficient school places,” she said. “We will continue to work closely with the council and trust to urgently progress delivery of the permanent accommodation.”