A Valentine’s disco was scrapped and lessons were cancelled at Linslade School on Friday when the heavy rain brought flooding to the grounds of the Mentmore Road complex.
Floodwater up to a foot deep engulfed the middle school and was believed to have bee run-off from higher ground behind the buildings. Head teacher Kate Smith, who was on site at 7.30am had no choice but to shut for the day and message parents to collect their children.
She explained: “Initially, we looked towards every option to try to keep the school open. However, it quickly became apparent that, with the rain still falling and the water rising, we would have difficulty ensuring the safety of the pupils as they accessed and exited the site.
“A significant part of the lower playground was under water and the storm drains and soak-aways were full to capacity; the water simply had nowhere else to go.
“An added complication was the fact that we were required to call upon Anglia Water due to blockages in our sewerage system brought about, we understand, by a back-up of material in the sewers in the residential area close to the school.
“Although this had been cleared, we faced the combined situation of flood water, access, and potential issues with toilets on site.
“I hope families appreciated that this was an unexpected situation and one to which we responded as soon as it was possible to do so.
“I arrived on site at around 7.30am and looked at all of the options in terms of remaining open but, in the final analysis, had to admit defeat and take the decision to close to children on the grounds of health and safety.
“It all happened so unexpectedly hence the late notice to families. Staff rallied to the cause and donned high vis jackets in order to meet families who had left home unaware of the decision.
“Any children who arrived in school were taken care of until such time as they could be collected.
“Ironically, the water disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived. The site team told me it was as if someone had pulled the plug out of a bath.”
Mrs Smith said that Monday was “business as normal” .