‘Like déjà vu,’ says head as Tipton school flood clean-up starts again

By Deborah Hardiman | Tipton | Education | Published:

A major clean-up operation is underway at a school which suffered flooding for the second time in four months after a water main burst.

Headteacher David Rowe surveys the damage caused at Tipton Green Junior School

Tipton Green Junior School is partially open with all staff and pupils from Year 5 and Year 6 back for lessons in the first-floor classrooms.

An army of agency workers were busy clearing debris, form the floors and the playground, wiping down and moving furniture after the escaping water flooded the premises on Tuesday.

The school and Sandwell Council put a crisis plan in motion after the mains pipe ruptured in neighbouring Park Lane West.

WATCH: Video shows flooding damage

Home collapses as Tipton water main bursts

A footpath at the Manor Road school repaired just last month was again left damaged.

Younger pupils in Year 3 return to the site on Monday while Year 4 pupils will be transported by coach to nearby Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, also from Monday, under special arrangements.

Tipton Green head David Rowe said: "I had a phone call at about 5.20am on Tuesday from the site manager at Silvertrees Academy, who lives locally, to tell me that it was happening again.


Tables stored in the school hall

"She came and had a look and could see that it was worst than what happened in October.

"When I arrived there was no electricity. It was like déjà vu.

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"The main thing for us is to get the debris moved and to get access to the building so that we can get lessons up and running quickly. The older children have returned as their classrooms upstairs were not affected.

"The clear-up team was sent in by Sandwell Council. Yesterday there were 14 of them here and it was amazing to see how much they got done.

Agency workers tidy up at Tipton Green Junior School

"They have been cleaning up the lower ground floor so that we can get the children back to lessons as soon as we can."

"We have got half the school back in so far, which is 180 pupils from years five and six. Years 3 and 4 will return on Monday.

"The arrangements are similar to what we did after the previous incident when they offered us accommodation because they have capacity. We are going to take the year fours there by coach to make it easier for our families who have other children here.

"South Staffordshire Water have been pretty good and are offering to pay for all the children's school dinners while they're at Sacred Heart.

A damaged footpath at the school

"Tables and chairs are being moved around here so that year three can be accommodated in the library and the dance studio for the time being," Mr Rowe said.

He praised residents, the parents and the council for their support during the latest crisis.

Six ground-floor classrooms, the main reception lobby and adjoining corridors were damaged.

South Staffordshire Water has apologised for the distress caused and is assisting the school. It will now replace the main over a 300 metre stretch.

Part of a neighbouring house collapsed and around 170 homes were left without power as a result of the flooding.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.


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