Rhyl High School to close over cladding concerns

A school in North Wales will close for the rest of the week, as a "precautionary measure" over safety concerns after the Grenfell disaster.

Rhyl High School

Rhyl High School will be closed on Thursday and Friday after it was discovered the external cladding came from the same manufacturers who provided cladding for Grenfell Tower.

Denbighshire Council said: "Following consultation with the development team, Denbighshire County Council can confirm that the external cladding sheet used is manufactured by the same company as that which provided the cladding for Grenfell Tower.

"However, as a result of new information emerging regarding the fact that the cladding comes from the same manufacturer it has been decided to close the school on Thursday and Friday whilst a full risk assessment and review of the safety management is carried out as a precautionary measure.

"There is nothing to suggest an increase in risk of fire at the school."

The statement continued: "The council believes that the fire safety measures and extensive checks carried out as part of the new building works at Rhyl High School were sound.

"The council would also like to point out to the community that the use of cladding at Rhyl High School differs vastly from the cladding used in Grenfell and any other tower blocks.''

The council pointed out that the school was not high-rise, firebreaks had been installed vertically and horizontally, and a full coverage fire alarm and sprinkler systems were in place in a design approved by a fire engineer.

The council added: "The council is confident that any aluminium cladding panels used on Denbighshire County Council buildings represents a minor risk.

"However, in recognition of the doubt currently being cast on these products, the council will review the Fire Risk Assessments in place, where these products have been used, with particular emphasis on fire escape and emergency arrangements.

"This is a measure that the council hopes will provide added assurance to reassure building users. Should any recommendations arising from the ongoing public enquiry and investigations have an impact on any council buildings, then the council will take appropriate action.''

The school's headteacher Claire Armitstead said she was "not willing to risk our children's safety".

She added: "I'm sure you understand that I have not made this decision quickly or easily and I hope you will support me in it."

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