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Term starts late as schools overrun

SCHOOLS across the country have failed to open in time for the new term because of delays to new building projects.

In Norfolk, Mansell has been carrying out preliminary work for a £7.9 million remodelling of Hamond's High School.

The school, in Swaffham, was due to open last Thursday but health and safety concerns meant pupils have been returning in phases this week.

A council spokesman said: 'The headteacher needed to be satisfied she had enough time to walk round with her staff and check everything over.'

Parents were given 24 hours' notice that the school would not be opening as planned.

The delay is embarrassing for Norfolk County Council chief executive Tim Byles, who is to take charge of Partnerships for Schools - the agency responsible for delivering the Government's £45 billion Building Schools for the Future programme.

The £7.9 million scheme at Swaffham is the biggest single project in the council's £79 million schools programme.

In Leeds, the opening of two PFI schools has been delayed by a week to allow teachers to familiarise themselves with the new buildings.

Carillion is building the combined Primrose High and Shakespeare Primary campus as part of a £110 million deal to provide five new secondary schools and one primary school for Leeds City Council.

The contractual handover date was September 18 but the local education authority asked for this to be brought forward to September 8 in time for the new school term.

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