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Woodlawn Primary School, Carrickfergus

7th - 9th January - School Closure

10th Jan 2019

10th January 2019

Dear Parent

I would like to apologise for the significant inconvenience and difficulty over the last three days. May I also thank you for the support and understanding that we received from many parents and representatives within the school community as we worked through this challenging situation.

I would like to take this opportunity to inform you about the events in more detail as it is only fair that you have a full understanding. On opening the school on Monday morning, we discovered that there was a significant problem with the school heating system. Maintenance officers were called and immediately arrived on site but they could not solve the problem. This meant that there was no heating or hot water, we were unable to cook or serve meals and, as it developed, three man holes had to be dug in the school canteen to identify the source of the problem and to address it. At 8.40am, in light of the above, they informed me that the school was unable to open. Obviously the health and safety of the children and staff were paramount.

At that stage the staff and I immediately took action to ensure that every child was safe. Every parent was informed either by direct contact at the school gate or through our various forms of communication including the school texting system, the website, the school app and facebook.

Any child who arrived unaccompanied at the school gate was brought into the school and we directly contacted parents or guardians by telephone.

Over the last three days the Education Authority, the maintenance team and my staff have worked tirelessly to sort out this problem and I am delighted that it has now been resolved. My thanks and appreciation goes out to each and every one who worked together as a team to resolve the situation as quickly as possible in the interests of the children.

This morning it was lovely to welcome children and parents at the gate and everyone I spoke to was very kind and understanding of the situation. Thank you for that. This morning an article also managed to reach the Belfast Telegraph and I thank them for acknowledging the hard work of my colleagues and the maintenance team in resolving this very difficult situation as quickly as possible in the interests of our children. I am delighted to say that everything is largely back to normal and I look forward to an exciting term ahead.

Yours faithfully

IR Mullen