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Primary school re-opens after lightning strike

Headteacher thanked staff and parents for acting so quickly following the "extremely unusual and potentially dangerous" incident on Tuesday

David Garwood
The scene of the lightning strike at Potley Hill Primary School

A primary school in Yateley has re-opened after it was forced to close on Tuesday due to a lightning strike.

A tree and building roof at Potley Hill Primary School were both hit by lightning on Tuesday afternoon, at around 1pm, and Frogmore Leisure Centre was also affected.

The school, in Potley Hill Road, sent all its pupils home for the day. But it re-opened on Wednesday.

A statement on the school's website said: "Wednesday 30 April: The school will be open as normal.

"Thank you to all involved; school staff acted with speed, calmness and compassion and parents were supportive and responded swiftly so that today's situation was managed extremely well."

In a letter sent home to parents on Tuesday, headteacher Heather Clarke thanked parents for collecting children from the school so quickly in "a set of extremely unusual and potentially dangerous circumstances".

She added: "We were struck by lightning at approximately 1pm this afternoon [Tuesday].

"There was a loud bang and flash and both the roof of the school and the large oak tree outside of reception was hit - this resulted in a loss of power, phones, fire alarm systems and also split the oak tree down to its roots which meant it could potentially fall on the infant classrooms next to it. Due to this risk and the fact that areas of roof and wiring could still be smouldering, we took the decision to close."

She confirmed that most of the damaged tree had been removed from the school site and warned parents that the school's phone lines remained down so staff would have an emergency mobile phone.

The school has arranged circle-time activities for children to discuss any feelings they have about the incident.

 
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