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The Deepings School calls for ‘realistic and workable solution’ after closure of Deepings Leisure Centre

A headteacher has called for a ‘realistic and workable solution’ to provide suitable sports facilities in the Deepings.

The Deepings School is investigating options after being left without a sports hall.

Deepings Leisure Centre in Park Road, Deeping St James has been closed since July because of a leaky roof and faces an uncertain future as councillors are yet to decide if it will be renovated and saved, or scrapped.

Richard Lord, headteacher at The Deepings School
Richard Lord, headteacher at The Deepings School

The site is owned by Lincolnshire County Council but is leased to the Deepings School, run by the Anthem Trust, under a long lease. There is no signed lease in place.

Richard Lord, headteacher of The Deepings School, said: “We are currently working with Anthem School Trust and specialist contractors to identify a suitable site within the school grounds to locate a temporary sports hall, which we hope to have ready for use as soon as possible, alongside our existing school gym and school fitness suite."

He added: “Plans for mock exams this autumn and in the spring have already been affected, which is a concern, given the disruption to their education that our pupils in Years 11 and 13 have already experienced due to covid."

While plans are not yet finalised, Mr Lord confirmed that there will be no requirement for bus transport.

As pupils return to school they will make use of the playing fields as well as the newly-refurbished netball and tennis courts.

“Any decision around a new leisure centre in the town appears some way off and if approved a new centre would take some time to complete,” said Mr Lord.

“In the meantime, the school requires access to a fit-for-purpose sports hall and, equally importantly, a venue to host public examinations.

"It would not seem feasible, at this stage, for pupils to lose so much teaching time accessing an off-site venue, following the disruption to learning and physical education that has taken place over the past eighteen months.”

The school and trust continues to be in frequent discussion with both Lincolnshire County Council and South Kesteven District Council.

Mr Lord said: “It’s regrettable that this situation has arisen, but we feel it is more helpful to look forward than look back.

“The most important thing now is for everyone to work together to find a realistic and workable solution for the school and local community.”

He added: “We would hope and envisage that leaders at all levels will take this opportunity to put in place a plan that provides exciting local leisure opportunities for many years to come.”

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