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Edge Hill rescues pupils’ education after blaze destroys primary school


June 21, 2021

Edge Hill University has stepped in to provide classrooms for pupils from a local primary school to ensure their education isn’t impacted following a devastating fire.

Asmall Primary School, located on Tennyson Drive in Ormskirk, remains closed due to a fire at the school last week which affected a significant part of the building.  

Edge Hill University has stepped in to provide classrooms for pupils from a local primary school to ensure their education isn’t impacted following a devastating fire. 

Faculty of Education Piazza
The Piazza Building where the school is now located.

Michelle Speak, headteacher of Asmall Primary School, said: “This awful fire has devastated our school.

“I am so grateful to Edge Hill University for stepping in and allowing us to use their campus.

“As well as being located close to our school, the university can also accommodate all of our children, including the nursery, so that they can all remain together.

“Our children will also have access to amazing facilities including a sports hall, a forest school, and designated outdoor spaces.

“This arrangement also means that our children will have experience of life on a university campus, which will hopefully inspire them for the future. We are going to have an exciting adventure and we hope that our children will have many happy memories of their time at Edge Hill University.”

Jane Moore

Professor Jane Moore, Edge Hill’s Dean of Faculty of Education, said: “Education is so important and we know that schools have already been impacted enough during the pandemic, so when we heard about the fire at Asmall Primary we wanted to give something back to our community.  

“We have been able to make a building available for the exclusive use of the pupils, so that they can stay together, and each class will have their own room, just like they had at school. 

“We’re proud that our own students who are currently on teaching training courses, have volunteered to help out with this new arrangement and provide additional support, which will develop their own skills as well as benefit the pupils. 

“As a University rooted in community spirit, I’m heartened that we have been able to turn a potential disaster into what will be a positive experience for the children who will have their eyes opened to higher education.” 

There has been overwhelming support from the local community who have rallied around in response to the fire and already thousands of pounds have been raised by a GoFundMe online fundraiser, and by donation points being set up. 

Headteacher, Michelle Speak added: “I would also like to acknowledge the fantastic support that we have received from our local community. It really is incredibly heartwarming and overwhelming. Huge efforts have been made to raise money for us, as well as to provide us with lots of resources. Thank you to local schools who have provided us with furniture and equipment at such short notice. Special thanks go to the staff and children at Delphside Primary, who had a fundraising day this week and donated £750!

“The county council has also been marvellous in the way they supported us at the time of the fire and in everything they are providing and putting in place since.

“A huge thank you to everyone who is rallying round to help us on behalf of myself, the school staff, parents and governors.”

All parents are being kept fully informed by the school of all developments and have been extremely supportive of the school.

Kerry Smith with her daughters standing in front of the Education Piazza building
Kerry Smith with her daughters

Kerry Smith, who has two children at Asmall Primary School, said: “The outpouring of support from the local community within hours of the fire starting has been overwhelming, we as parents can’t thank everyone enough.  

“I have two girls at Asmall Primary School, the teachers are all fantastic and we couldn’t wish for a better Headteacher in Mrs Speak, she has worked tirelessly since the fire, arranging the move and keeping us all up to date on progress daily. 

“I work at Edge Hill University, when I heard that they had offered their support I couldn’t be prouder to work there and couldn’t wish for a better venue for our children.   Our children will have an amazing adventure and what a great lesson this has been for our children – this whole experience will teach them how a negative can be turned very quickly into a positive.” 

Lancashire County Council is continuing to work closely with the school to provide necessary support. Plans are currently being developed for the start of the new term in September for the school.

June 21, 2021