Queen Camel school a step closer

Work to relocate a Somerset school that has been repeatedly blighted by significant flooding is set to begin in early June.

The work, done on behalf of Somerset County Council, will see Countess Gytha Primary School in Queen Camel relocated to a new site on West Camel Road. 

The completed school should be ready for classes next summer.

A new pedestrian crossing will be added to the West Camel Road, benefiting the school and the local community. The car park at the new site will also be larger than Somerset County Council would usually recommend, with space for staff and visitor parking and an on-site drop off and pick up area for parents, minibuses, coaches and deliveries. 

The current Countess Gytha Primary School is 140 years old and is located in a flood zone. The building and children’s work has been damaged by flood water in the past. 

The new school will be located on West Camel Road, away from the flood zone and will feature a modern single storey school building including a pre-school area, play areas, sports courts and on-site bike storage. It will accommodate over 150 students aged 2 to 11 from the local area.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “We’re so pleased to be able to do this for the families of this community. The new school will take away the fear of flooding and give children the stability and continuity in their education that they deserve.

“We have listened to the safety concerns raised locally and have done our best to address them. I look forward to the work beginning so that, as soon as the work is completed, children can continue their education in a facility fit for the 21st Century.”

Mrs Sue English, Headteacher at Countess Gytha Primary School, said: “This is an exciting time for all involved in the replacement school build. The vastly improved facilities mean that we can fully equip our current and future pupils with the academic and social skills needed for a successful school and adult life.

“We also feel that the provision and space detailed in the plans means that we will have the capacity to embrace the needs of the local community, with the school being at the heart of a vibrant and thriving village.”

The contract for the work has been awarded to BAM Construction Ltd.