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Parents angry as school stays shut


Parents of children at a fire-damaged junior school have criticised the council's handling of the situation.

Catherine Junior School, in Belgrave, has been closed since October 30 after builders working on the school's roof accidently set fire to it.

Since then the school's 380 pupils have remained at home while the council sought an alternative solution.

Now parents say plans by Leicester City Council to send their children to alternative schools across the city from Monday are far from ideal.

Kimbra Myles's daughter, Macie, eight, will have to travel more than three miles to Rushey Mead Primary, from her home in Gibbons Close next week.

She said: "It's not ideal because I'm a working mum and I have to rely on her dad to come and take her to school.

"Macie goes to after-school club at Belgrave Playhouse and is normally picked up for that and taken there. That won't be possible now because Rushey Mead Primary is too far away. I'm not sure what I'm going to do because I have to work.

"I think this whole process could have been better thought through. Parents haven't been consulted on the arrangements at all. We've just been told what we're doing."

Pupils are being sent to one of four schools until the end of term in December – Taylor Road Primary, in St Matthews, Rushey Mead primary and secondary, and Soar Valley College, in Rushey Mead.

From January, all pupils will move to temporary mobile classrooms at Abbey Community Primary School's site in Belgrave, until a more permanent solution is found.

Parent meetings were due to take place at the alternative schools yesterday to give people a chance to meet head teachers.

Mum Taru Ruparelia's son, Prit, 10, will be going to Rushey Mead secondary next week for lessons.

She said: "I have an older daughter who already goes there but the start and finish times are different so it's still going to be difficult.

"Prit will finish at 3.30pm, but she will finish earlier at 3pm. It's not ideal. I think the council could do more to help parents."

Another parent, who didn't wish to be named, said: "Why doesn't the council get all the pupils to meet outside the junior school in the morning and bus pupils to the various schools?

"Some of us have more than one child and they're being sent to different schools."

A city council spokesman said: "We've done all we can practically in the time available. We acknowledge parents' concerns and encourage them to get in touch with us about any specific travel problems."

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