Parents unhappy as Kettering school closes again after generator fails

The school at its opening in 2015.
The school at its opening in 2015.

Parents have voiced their frustration after pupils at a Kettering school were sent home again after a generator broke down.

Hayfield Cross School, on the edge of the Kettering East development, was forced to close yesterday (Monday) when the power broke down.

The school, which opened in September 2015, is running off a generator with no mains electricity, water or sewerage.

Mum Anna Dell’Utri, whose son Harrison is in Year 3, said the school’s infrastructure is ‘awful’.

She said: “The school is amazing, the staff are amazing.

“The headteacher is probably one of the best in the county.

“But it’s been completely let down by the infrastructure, it’s awful.

“The road is as bad as it’s ever been. This is the fifth day of education my son has missed this year.

“There’s no mains so when the generator packed up the kids couldn’t use the toilet.

“Can you seriously ask a four-year-old to hold their bladder?

“Everyone knows how embarrassing it is to wet yourself.”

Miss Dell’Utri, a train driver in London, said it was fortunate that she was around when she found out the school was closing.

She said: “I’m a train driver and I can’t have my phone on in the cab.

“The school has no mains phone line and I haven’t got time to be sitting around checking Facebook all day.

“If I wasn’t around yesterday who would have picked up Harrison?

“This is affecting people’s lives.”

The school was the first building to open on the 5,500-home Kettering East development with the promise of a secondary school opening years later.

Another guardian of a pupil at the school, who did not wish to be named, said progress on site has been ‘shambolic’ and is causing problems at Hayfield Cross.

She said: “For a lot of parents who are working the school closing is a huge issue.

“The whole situation on the site is shambolic.

“There’s no sign of a secondary school yet and that means children and friendship groups who would have stayed together will be split up.

“The school is amazing but it’s not getting the support it needs.”

A statement on the school’s Facebook page yesterday said: “We apologise for all the inconvenience caused today.

“Thank you all for arranging to collect the children and we are VERY sorry this has happened again even though it is completely outside our control.

“We should have another replacement generator installed before school in the morning so we plan to be open as usual.

“Thank you for your understanding.”

A Northamptonshire County Council spokesman said: “The county council continues to work in collaboration with all relevant parties to help address the challenges the school is facing.”

Miranda Robinson, diocesan director of education at the Diocese of Peterborough, said: “Peterborough Diocese Board of Education is obviously concerned about the impact of the continuing lack of main services (electricity, gas and sewerage) on the Hayfield Cross CE School community.

“Dealing with generator failures and the emptying of a septic tank several times a week, takes school staff away from their core business of educating children.

“We hope that Northamptonshire County Council, who commissioned the building, will quickly resolve these issues with the developers of the site.”

Kettering Council has been contacted for a comment.