Braintree: Headteacher’s devastation as John Ray County Infant School is gutted by raging inferno

A HEADTEACHER has spoken of her devastation after her school was gutted by flames yesterday.

John Ray County Infant School in Notley Road, Braintree, was destroyed by a huge blaze yesterday despite the efforts of more than 50 firefighters.

School staff and representatives from Essex County Council have already met to plan how to provide temporary accommodation for the school’s pupils.

The start of the new school year will be delayed and the school will not reopen on Tuesday.

At this stage, the school will not open this week and an update will be provided later in the week.

Headteacher Sandra Way said: “I was incredibly saddened and shocked by the fire on Saturday and am disappointed that there will be a delay to the start of the new term.

“We will be working closely with the district and county council to ensure we can start the new school year as soon as possible.”

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Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for education and lifelong learning, said: “I am very sad for the community as this very fine school has lost its building.

“The school has excellent leadership and I have every confidence that once we can arrange temporary accommodation they will continue to provide very good education to the children through this difficult period.

“I am also immediately looking into plans for a properly rebuilt school and will be working with the school leadership on this.”

The county council is working with Braintree District Council and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service over making the school site safe.

There is no damage to the Junior School and it will reopen as planned.