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South Tyneside school closed after power cut is expected to be open again on Monday

St Joseph's Catholic Academy was closed due to a water pump problem caused by nearby flood defence work.
St Joseph's Catholic Academy was closed due to a water pump problem caused by nearby flood defence work.

A school forced to close after a power cut knocked its cold water pump out of service will be back open on Monday.

Staff at St Joseph’s Catholic Academy in Mill Lane, Hebburn, were left no option but to notify students to stay at home yesterday.

A cold water pump which services its toilet facilities had been knocked out of service on Thursday due to a power cut thought to be linked to the flood defence works being carried out at the rear of the school’s site.

Work to restore the electricity supply was carried out on Thursday, however, the pump system proved to be more difficult to remedy.

It is understood the issue was down to a problem with an auxiliary pump causing problems with the main pump. Engineers were at the school yesterday to fix the issue which will be monitored over the weekend.

Head of school Peter Mitchell said: “We have had engineers out and have spoken to the contractors and the main pump is now working.

“They are going to try and replace the rogue pump, so short of the main pump failing again, I am confident we will be open on Monday.

“There will be further checks carried out over the weekend and we would advise parents to continue to check the school’s website for further updates.”

Chairman of its director’s board Geraldine Kilgour said: “This is beyond the school’s control and it has been an accident, but the school is making every effort to communicate this out to everyone.

“We appreciate and understand the impact it has on everyone and we are very sorry about this.

“The welfare and safety of our students is paramount and we cannot open the school without toilet facilities.”

The flood alleviation project aims to reduce the flooding risk to around 100 homes and commercial properties in the Monkton and Hebburn South areas.

Measures include improved drainage and ponds designed to slow water run-off. The scheme comes after work by Northumbrian Water to improve the sewage drainage network.