Castletown Primary School board calls for action

The board of Castletown Primary School has called for action after dozens of students have been forced out of their classroom for weeks.

Eighty-five students from four classes at the school were removed from their classrooms due to health and safety concerns.

Another 90 children from four classes are expected to be moved over coming days.

One class has been out of their regular area for more than nine weeks.

A statement by the school board revealed a 2013 Building Condition Assessment Report issued by the Department of Education identified an estimated $814,238 of maintenance required.

According to the board's statement, the report found some facilities were built lower than surrounding areas, resulting in storm water entering the classrooms and affecting the structural integrity.

However, a report following an inspection in March 2018 concluded the buildings were well maintained and mostly needed cosmetic upgrades at a cost of $36,490.

The school board described that position as "ridiculous" and has written to the department to express concerns about the assessment process.

Board chair Tania Wright said water had accumulated in the classes over a number of years and the environmental inspection had identified mould under the carpet.

"On pulling up the carpet, it was found the support beams had corroded away," she said.

Mrs Wright said the environmental report only occurred after teachers complained about material coming apart in the ceiling.

"There's an underlying issue that wasn't picked up [in the 2018 report]," she said.

Mrs Wright said the board wanted a review of the Building Condition Assessment process.

"If this is happening in our school, is this a procedural issue with other schools, or is it just Castletown," she said.

Mrs Wright said the board also wanted a 'Building Master Plan' in place.

"They've stopped mould and the beams from falling down. But it shouldn't get to the point where it's failed before something is addressed," she said.

"It should be proactively managed instead of expecting teachers to juggle students and classrooms.

"Their job is hard enough without having to deal with these issues at the same time."

Department executive director of infrastructure John Fischer said the Education Department was working with the Department of Finance's Building Management and Works to address day-to-day faults and organise preventative maintenance.

"BMW engineers have investigated the structural elements. The rusted columns did not create any structural concerns impacting on the ability to use the classrooms," Mr Fischer said.

"An independent mould assessment commissioned by BMW also found that while mould was present in some classrooms, it did not pose any risk to staff and students.

"Expert testing of paint detected no lead; and vinyl floor tile backing was tested and found to not contain asbestos."

The department confirmed that since 2013, $370,000 had been spent at the school and there was a further $180,000 of work to be completed in the July school holidays.

Mr Fischer said that drainage in the northern part of the school was an issue during winter and work was underway to investigate and address that.

"Every decision we make about works at Castletown Primary School is in the best interests in staff and students," he said.

Roe MLA Peter Rundle raised the issue in state parliament on June 20 and called for Education Minister Sue Ellery to visit the school.

"I asked the premier, would he task his education minister to visit the school to meet with the board so the minister could gain a thorough understanding of the issue," Mr Rundle said.

Mr Rundle said remedial works should have been done during school holidays to stop children from being displaced.

"I find it unusual that a school board has had to go these length to get the attention," he said.

Mr Rundle also asked Premier Mark McGowan to commit to the full remediation works, which were identified in 2013.

The premier said senior staff would meet with the school board and said Ms Ellery was investigating the discrepancy between the reports in 2013 and 2018.