Parents and carers of students at Hartsdown Academy in Margate have been notified today (October 3) of a partial school closure due to a structural issue with the school’s new building.
Head teacher Matt Tate sent out a letter, saying: “We have today been notified that there is a structural issue with our new building.
“This issue means that the building is currently not safe to use. We are working with the Department for Education and Kier to rapidly resolve this and are hopeful that the building will be reopened by 9 October.”
He told The Isle of Thanet News: “Overnight an acoustic panel fell from the ceiling. There were no injuries. As a precautionary measure we are closing the new building whilst further checks are being undertaken. We expect the school to be fully open on Monday.”
The school is open for years 10, 11, 12 and 13 who will use the old building and 6th form block but is closed for years 7, 8, 9 and IAP students who will follow their normal curriculum and timetable online.
Mr Tate adds: “I am truly sorry for the inconvenience and disruption however I can assure you that we are making every effort to resolve this issue.”
The first phase of a £10 million new build at Hartsdown Academy in Margate was completed in June 2020 will final works finished last year.
Hartsdown Academy had originally been earmarked in the Building Schools for the Future programme which began its first phase in 2005. But when the programme was scrapped and replaced with a new scheme in 2012 Hartsdown was not included on the list of schools to benefit from a rebuild despite the buildings poor condition.
Finally, in May 2015, the Minster of State for Schools announced the Government would fund a further £2billion school building programme. Some 277 schools, including Hartsdown, were selected.
Work on the buildings was started by Kier construction in 2018 after a short delay due to the discovery of crested newts at the site.