Pupils and staff praised after King Charles School evacuation

Falmouth Packet: King Charles School's interim head, Claire Fortey praises pupils King Charles School's interim head, Claire Fortey praises pupils

The interim head of King Charles School in Falmouth has praised the way staff and pupils dealt with a fire emergency which led to children having to be evacuated and put the kitchen out of bounds.

Friday the 13th lived up to its reputation when an electrical fault above the school hall led to three fire crews attending and discovering a defective fan in the ventilation system which led to the smell of smoke permeating the building.

The entire new block, which houses reception and years one, two and three, and the kitchen being evacuated. The children moved into classrooms on the older side of the school and contingency plans were put into place to ensure the pupils had lunch.

Interim head, Claire Fortey, said: “Soon the air was filled with the delicious smell of pasties with one of the lovely directors from Rowes making a personal delivery.

“Staff formed a conveyor belt of sandwich making and delivered them to every class, along with plenty of cake and fruit. All of the staff were amazing, so much so that the children had a wonderful time together and felt as though Christmas parties had come early.

“The atmosphere, whilst respectful of the issue being sorted by the fire brigade, was one of community spirit, with every one doing their bit to help. It was especially touching to hear our year six encourage all the other children to give three cheers for all the grown-ups as a thank you for all their help and support.

“A day that could have been a massively difficult challenge turned out to be an uplifting and immensely rewarding experience for all.”

Writing in the school's newsletter, Mrs Fortey continued: “So whilst Friday 13th brought its own challenges, it also reflected the wonderful heart and spirit which has ensured King Charles' upward journey this term.

“Thank you for all your support over the last four months and on your behalf I would like to take this opportunity to applaud every single member of staff for an amazingly positive term; they have all worked so hard and I am delighted that the school is now starting to get some recognition for this.

“Obviously we all realise there is still a way to go, but I think we can all feel very proud of the journey so far.”

Back in September, the school received a damning Ofsted report and it was put in “special measures.” That is when Mrs Fortey was drafted in from St Francis School to oversee King Charles' fight back.

Within two months, Ofsted had reported back following its first special measures monitoring inspection. Inspector Richard Light praised the many changes that have already been made and said the school's action plan provides “a comprehensive, clear and precise set of priorities to tackle the school's weaknesses.”

Mrs Fortey is determined that the school will be out of special measures well ahead of the usual two-and-a-half years it takes.

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