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Monday, 11 November, 2002, 09:31 GMT
School hit in arson attack
Fire Engine
Arson is the likely cause of the fire
Investigations are continuing into the cause of a fire which partially destroyed a school in Hartlepool.

It is thought the fire at Saint Hild's School, on King Oswy Drive, was started deliberately in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Thirteen classrooms may have to be demolished.

Parents of pupils from Years Seven and Eight are being asked not to bring their children to the school on Monday or Tuesday.

'Mindless arson'

Deputy headteacher Lynn Gill told BBC Radio Cleveland she was shocked by the devastation.

"Obviously I'm horrified. We have had fires at the school in the past but nothing on this scale. It is devastating.

"It makes me feel very angry and upset when I think of the amount of pupil and staff work that has been destroyed by what looks to be an act of mindless arson."

Jill Rollings, assistant education director for Hartlepool Council, said arrangements were being made to try and get the school back to normal.

She added that she hoped a planned Ofsted inspection in the near future could be postponed in the circumstances.

Ms Rollings said: "We have got a team of people going in to try and clean up the smoke-damaged classrooms.

"Mobile accommodation will also be on site in the next week or so and a letter will be going out to parents soon to tell them about the arrangements."


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See also:

24 Oct 02 | England
03 Mar 02 | Education
19 Jul 01 | Education
23 Jun 00 | Education
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