MINISTER FOR EDUCATION, CULTURE, YOUTH AFFAIRS AND SPORTS
HONOURABLE SHARIE B. de CASTRO
ON THE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE ALTHEA SCATLIFFE PRIMARY SCHOOL ACADEMIC YEAR 2022 – 2023
FRIDAY, JULY 29TH, 2022
Good day to all.
In June of this year, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports arranged for a structural analysis to be conducted on the Althea Scatliffe Primary School building.
This immediate action was in response to concerns expressed by the Staff, faculty and parents about the many structural issues plaguing the school. These complaints included the fact that sections of the roof had already caved in, other portions were breaking more frequently and the teachers were uneasy every day in the building.
Civil and Structural Engineering Limited was engaged to complete a structural assessment of the Althea Scatliffe Primary School building on Monday 13th June 2022.
On Thursday 16th June, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports received a report from Civil and Structural Engineering Limited which recommended that the use of the school building be suspended immediately.
A primary concern in the report was the structural integrity of the building and it being unsafe for continued occupancy.
The Ministry erring on the side of caution, made steps to close the building effective Friday 17th June, 2022 at 4:30p.m.
The staff was required to remove all personal items from the building in short order and refrain from going into the building.
Overall our objective was to ensure that we prioritised the safety of our students, faculty and staff.
With the closure of that building, Ministry officials started to plan for the relocation of the Althea Scatliffe Primary School and explored several options in an effort to secure a suitable space for the school to resume in September.
The first option and main goal was to find a space large enough to house the entire school of approximately 375 students and 40 staff members as well as to find a space for the Eslyn Henley Richez Learning Centre of 15 Students with special needs and six staff members. This search included exploring available commercial spaces or erecting temporary spaces.
The second option was to find spaces in the existing schools to subdivide the students and staff. After considering all options and the many factors, the following decisions have been taken:
- The Grades five and six students from Althea Scatliffe Primary will be placed at the Enis Adams Primary School.
- Siblings of students in grades five or six will also be accommodated at Enis Adams Primary School in Meyer’s Estate.
- Students of Grades three and four will be accommodated at the Francis Lettsome Primary School in Greenland.
- Where space is available, students residing in outlying communities may be accommodated at the school nearest them.
- Arrangements are being made to accommodate twenty-four to thirty students from grade two at Enid Scatliffe Pre-Primary School.
- The other grade two students will be dispersed to schools according to their place of residence.
- The Ministry of Education will cover the cost of transportation from a central location in town for students who will need transportation to their assigned school location. Further details about this will be forthcoming.
- Students from the Althea Scatliffe Primary have the option of remaining in their school’s uniform or wearing the uniform of the school they will be accommodated at.
We are working assiduously to ensure that the Enis Adams Primary School and Francis Lettsome Primary School are ready to accommodate the temporary changes to facilitate the increase in numbers at the respective learning institutions.
In the meantime, a further assessment is being done on the Althea Scatliffe Primary School building to determine whether the school will be rebuilt or remodelled. We will provide more information following the assessment.
Meetings have already been held with all stakeholders and they have been duly informed of the decision for the temporary arrangement for the Althea Scatliffe Primary School.
The Ministry of Education apologises for any inconvenience caused and will be giving further updates as information becomes available.
I wish to reiterate that the safety of our staff and students of the Althea Scatliffe Primary School is a priority.