Pupils have returned to lessons at Birchington primary and three other Kent schools where safety concerns led to temporary closures.
Members of KCC’s Infrastructure team and contractors worked over the weekend and the early part of this week to ensure that temporary accommodation and facilities were in place as soon as possible.
Pupils at Birchington Church of England Primary returned to classes yesterday (June 21).
Sunny Bank Primary in Sittingbourne, Palmarsh Primary in Hythe and St James Church of England School in Tunbridge Wells have also reopened.
The urgent measures were put in place after a decision by the Department for Education following a change in the guidelines from the Institution of Structural Engineers concerning a certain type of concrete used in each school’s roof.
KCC’s Cabinet Member for Education, Rory Love, praised the efforts of all those involved in making the arrangements as well as a number of other schools which have stepped in to assist with temporary accommodation and facilities, including school meals.
He said: “The work involved was extensive and the speed with which these temporary measures were put in place was impressive. From the start, I was determined that we did not suffer the kind of disruption to education that we saw during the pandemic response, with online learning becoming the default. I’m pleased that our efforts have meant children are back in the classroom ahead of expectations.”
At Birchington primary, structural works have been carried out to allow the school reception, office and administration areas to be occupied. A number of interim classrooms have been set up, with electrical and IT works completed.
Some parts of the Quex Building will not be able to be used. These include the Year 4 and 5 classrooms, Pastoral areas, Music Room and associated corridors and toilets. Due to the halls being used, lunches for all children will be in their classrooms.
On Monday 3rd July, Year 4 and 5 pupils will be able to move into the new classroom village on the school field.
Remedial work which was scheduled to take place over the summer holidays will be carried out at all four schools as quickly as possible.