School turns to church after flooding

Pupils are taking their lessons in a local church after flooding closed their school in Durham.

St Hilds Church of England Primary School, in the Gilesgate area, was forced to close its doors and find alternative venues for lessons after torrential rain fell on the city on Thursday.

Head Teacher Suzanne Lithgow said: “Within an hour of the rain starting, drains couldn't cope and they backed up under our school and foul water came up through manholes within school. The building is now extremely contaminated from raw sewage.”

Staff and children will not be able to re-enter the school until it has been deep cleaned, meaning that it may not be open again until September.

Until then, the nursery will be housed in a community room at Gilesgate Primary School, while the school reception and Year 1 children will be at St Giles church.

All the children from Year 2 to Year 6 will have their lessons at Gilesgate Sports College.

Ms Lithgow said: “Local schools and the church have come to our rescue.

“Community spirit with everyone rallying around has been out of this world and we would like to, on behalf of our governors staff and our parents, thank them for everything they have done.

"The staff from our school have been absolutely wonderful to ensure children are having a fantastic adventure.

"It just shows that community spirit is alive and well and we are all very pleased that we have such a tight knit community.”