Keep updated on the progress at SSSJ click here to view our recovery information.

Before Christmas, all children will return to school in their new education village at Walker’s Field, until the permanent site is rebuilt over the next three years.

On Thursday 17th August, a fire broke out at SS Simon and Jude CE Primary school. 

Nearly all the school buildings other than the modular classrooms at the back of the site were destroyed. Staff, parents, and children have been left devastated at the loss of our much-loved school. 

The Trust worked with partnership organisations, particularly Bolton Council and the DfE, to find a new home for our school community as quickly as possible. Thanks to the help of the community, we have found temporary accommodation close to our original school at three new sites, where the children can enjoy face to face lessons with their friends and teachers. Staff have worked hard to make the community space safe for the children on a temporary basis. 

The Trust has a 3-stage plan in place to ensure that the children, families, and staff can be together again as one school quickly. 

Phase 1

Commenced from 11st September and is expected to continue until early November, in line with half term holiday. 

Face to face teaching is being taught in 4 different locations: 

Reception & Year 1 children

At school in modular buildings accessed from Cotefield Avenue. 

Year 2 and Year 3 children 

At Bolton Cricket Club 

Year 4 and Year 5 children

At The Railway Club 

Year 6 children

At Bolton Science & Technology Centre 

Phase 2

Involves a plan to build a temporary education village at Walker’s Field, ensuring all children can be taught in one location. Groundworks commenced at this location from 18th September, with completion expected before the end of 2023.

We are looking forward to welcoming all children to our temporary site at Walker’s Field. This will continue for at least three years, until the permanent site is rebuilt. 

This temporary site will be single storey with surrounding fencing – (see image below). Walker’s field local community can access the remaining field area, whilst this temporary school is in situ: 

Children and families can walk onto site through three entrances, providing more access points than the original school site. 

  • Arlington Street,  

  • Newport Road or  

  • Parkfield Road. 

Phase 3

The Trust is working with the Department for Education (DfE) to build a new school on the Newport Road site. Discussions are ongoing but the DfE have promised that funding will be in place to re-build our school, and we have been told that a new school can take two or three years to build. 

We would like to thank the whole SSSJ community and beyond for their support, dedication and understand during this period of change. We are so grateful for everyone’s help and encouragement to ensure the learning of our children is minimally disrupted and they are settled into the temporary buildings as swiftly as possible. 

We will continue to support the community and ensure our school is rebuilt as quickly as possible. Our Trust mission to support and encourage the work of academies in our Trust through the excellent education of children and young people is resolute, even during these testing time. 

If you have any additional questions, please use the links below to contact the Trust or check out the SSSJ website for further parental updates. 

How to contact us: questions@vantageacademies.co.uk 

You can also keep updated via our website: www.vantageacademies.co.uk

“Following our Board of Trustees meeting I am writing on behalf of all the trustees to express our sincere thanks to all the Vantage team for all that has been achieved in such a short time, since the devastating fire at St Simon and St Jude School.

What has taken place since the fire is nothing short of a miracle, but this has been achieved through the dedicated hard work of all who have gone the extra mile, for the sake of the children at the school.

We knew we had a great team and we can evidence in so many ways through the growth of Vantage, the development of each school, and what was achieved in the Covid years. However, what the team have faced with just a few weeks before commencement of a new academic year has shown their strength and incredible resilience. Picking themselves up from what was a bereavement in the loss of a school and re-building a new future for the sake of the children.

We can see that the future looks bright for the school, but we also understand there will be many more challenges along the way.

Thanks to the teams on the ground at SSSJ and the wider Trust community.”

Phil Mason, Chair of Trustees