Pupils from a fire-ravaged Leyland high school will return together under one roof from Monday.
Early plans to divide St Mary’s Catholic Technology College pupils between two sites – undamaged accommodation at St Mary’s and a former high school in Preston – have been changed to allow more time to prepare the damaged property.
This means that all pupils will now begin the term together in the former high school site on Ribbleton Hall Drive in Preston.
Pupils should go to the St Mary’s site in Royal Avenue at the normal time from where they will be taken to Ribbleton on free buses.
Headteacher Kathryn McNicholas said has expressed her thanks for the support given since the fire on September 1.
She said: “In some ways, this is a blessing because it allows all our staff and pupils to come together on one site and support each other during these crucial early days.
“It must be remembered that a school is a community of people, not a building, and our community remains intact.
“The many messages of support that we’ve received on our website are astonishing, and as one says, ‘the events of Sunday may have left the school broken but it can’t break the spirit of Leyland St Mary’s staff and pupils’”.
The additional time will allow specialists to carry out a deep clean of St Mary’s and to ensure that heating, water supply and kitchen equipment are all running properly.
Within the next few weeks, it is planned that some year groups will return to the St Mary’s site. Plans remain in place to bring all pupils back to the site at the start of the January term next year.
The longer-term plan for Sir Tom Finney High School to move to the refurbished school building on the Ribbleton Hall Drive site remains unchanged.