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Back-to-school update: Padlocked gates and lack of water greet some students

Published:Monday | September 7, 2015 | 12:00 AM

A padlocked gate and water problems greeted several schools among the hundreds which reopened today across the island for the start of the 2015-2016 academic year.

In a bulletin, the education ministry said the gates to the Penwood High in St Andrew were padlocked in protest over the employment of ancillary staff who are reportedly not from the community.

The police were called in to break the padlock.

Meanwhile, over in St Mary, it says "serious" water situation threatened the closure of Carron Hall High. 

The Exchange All-Age School reopened but there was no water. 

The ministry says the National Water Commission is to supply water to the institutions later this afternoon

There is also a report of a student being turned away at Happy Grove High due to non-payment of auxiliary fee. 

The ministry says that is being investigated.

Speaking on Cliff Hughes Online this morning, the Education Minister says some schools have reported problems with furniture. 

He said later this week, the Education Ministry will be able to give a more comprehensive report on the reopening of schools. 

Thwaites says the general report are positive and that operations are going smoothly at public schools.