Reception pupils excited about starting their first day of school have been dealt with a blow after finding out their start date has been pushed back by two weeks.

New pupils at Belmont First School, in Hibbert Road, Wealdstone, will now start school on September 22 instead of today, as originally planned.

The start date was originally pushed back to September 15 over summer after teachers realised building work to improve the school would not be finished in time.

This morning, parents received a text message stating the date had been moved forward yet again after builders discovered asbestos in the building.

A spokesman for Harrow Borough Council said: “There was more asbestos than expected and we are working to remove it.

“There is zero risk to the children and we’re going down all the relevant health and safety channels.”

Years one to six pupils started school as normal today.

In a letter to parents, headteacher Lindsay Shaw said all parents would receive a personal letter to clarify their pupils start dates.

“I would like to apologise for this delay, and Harrow Council and the project team (have asked me to apologise to you on their behalf, as well.

“The contractors have encountered some unforeseen challenges in completing their work on the reception classes, and I am told that the one week delay is unavoidable.”