Dulwich school ceiling collapse: 12 children taken to hospita

Twelve schoolchildren were taken to hospital after a classroom ceiling collapsed at a £15,000-a-year prep school.

Emergency crews evacuated Rosemead Preparatory School and Nursery in Dulwich, south London, at about 9.20am on Monday.

Sixteen pupils and one teacher were in the Year 3 class of 7 and 8-year-olds at the time of the incident. Paramedics treated 16 people at the scene and took 12 children and two teachers to hospital.

On Monday night, the school said none of the injuries were life-threatening or life-changing and “the majority” of those taken to hospital had been discharged.

Parents said they were alerted to the incident by email. All children and staff were evacuated from the building while structural checks were carried out.

Nick Crawford, the chairman of governors at the school, said the collapse on the second floor had been “a worrying time for the children involved, their families and the wider school”.

He added: “We are working closely with the authorities and relevant specialists to understand the cause of the incident .. we understand from initial examinations that there are no concerns regarding the rest of the building.

“I would sincerely like to thank members of staff, the emergency services and those who sent messages of support from the wider community.”

Around 20 firefighters and three fire engines, along with multiple ambulance crews attended the school in Thurlow Park Road, which was cordoned off by police for several hours.

The 325-pupil school moved into the 156-year-old three-storey building in 1974.

It is run by the Thurlow Educational Trust and is located streets away from prestigious independent schools Dulwich College and Alleyn’s School.

The school day later continued as usual. Andy Patel, 65, whose eight-year-old grandson attends Rosemead, said: “It’s shocking but I’ve seen the school and I’m quite content it’s under control.

“School is running as normal and our prayers and thoughts are with those kids that were hurt.”

A resident said: “There were at least 24 emergency vehicles. I saw one boy go into an ambulance. He looked fine.”

The school that is ‘inspiring brilliant futures’

According to the school’s website, “Our school aims are at the very core of everything we do and are the reason the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) judged Rosemead Prep to be ‘Excellent’ across all areas of Educational Quality – this is the highest grade achievable.”

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The school’s five aims are:

  1. To encourage confidence from a young age, preparing children for the next stages of their own brilliant futures
  2. To meet the intellectual, physical and emotional needs of each child and embrace excellence across the curriculum
  3. To create an inclusive, nurturing community that enables children to be creative, reflective and compassionate
  4. To inspire a thirst for learning, providing opportunities that extend far beyond our curriculum
  5. To work in close partnership with our parents and the wider community

Headteacher Phil Soutar said: “Our motto, Inspiring Brilliant Futures, reflects our desire to develop a passion for learning that will enable children to aim high and achieve their goals. 

“The school’s success is evident in our pupils’ enviable record of entry to leading senior schools locally in both the independent and maintained sectors.

“Although we set the highest academic standards, we are committed to providing a well-rounded and inclusive education. 

“With bursaries available from Year 3, we work hard to identify and nurture talents in, for example, sport, the arts or leadership and allow all children to thrive. 

“Outstanding pastoral support and the school’s unique status under the auspices of the Thurlow Educational Trust, of which every parent is a member, results in an exceptionally strong school community.”


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