NORTHUMBERLAND County Council and the Hexham schools project team are thanking pupils and their families for their continued patience and understanding.

It comes after the multi-million pound project has been delayed due to a national shortage of construction materials.

Pupils are expected to return to the site on Monday, September 20.

Coun. Guy Renner-Thompson, cabinet member with responsibility for children’s services, said: “We want to take this opportunity to thank all the parents, carers and students affected by this delay for their continued patience and understanding.

“I know it will have been difficult for you to plan care and learning for your children and home, and we really do appreciate your support with this at this time.”

Vulnerable children and those in year 5 and 6 can return to face-to-face learning at a site organised by the school for the remainder of this week. Devices will also be provided through the County Council’s Digital Device schemes to further aid their learning.

Cath McEvoy-Carr, executive director for adult social care and children’s services, added: “Having reviewed the progress of works on site on Monday, we had to make the decision to delay handover until Friday, September 17 to ensure that when students and staff do return, they can do so safely and fully enjoy the facilities they are welcomed into.

“It is disappointing, and we know this will be frustrating for parents and carers.

“We also want to take this time to reassure parents, carers, staff and students that the schools are looking great. The classrooms and open learning spaces are going to provide so much more flexibility and opportunity for the students to learn and grow. We really cannot wait for pupils to see it and thank everyone for their continued patience.”