Education officials visit pupils from St James Primary Academy
Education officials visited pupils from St James Primary at their temporary school Allhallows Primary Academy.
On Friday 9th December, Education leaders heard how a major operation swung into action after the huge blaze left children without a school.
They were told how education for nearly 120 pupils from St James Primary on the Isle of Grain was able to continue despite the devastating blaze.
In just seven days, The Williamson Trust, which is one of the school’s sponsors, was able to carry out work to bring parts of its nearby Allhallows Primary School into use as classrooms, as well as buy new tables and chairs, stationery and books and arrange for pupils to be bussed the four miles from Grain to Allhallows each day.
A special visit was arranged for education officials from Medway Council who visited Allhallows to hear first hand the accounts of those involved in the operation.
Michael Costello, Chairman of the Williamson Trust, said: “This was a remarkable achievement by all those involved to ensure the education of the children was not disrupted.
“The pupils only missed three days of school despite this awful fire and that shows it was a great commitment from all to ensure their continued education.
“So many people worked tirelessly so the children had a school to go to and I'd like to thank everyone who was involved including all the staff, parents and the children themselves for making the transition to Allhallows as seamless as possible.”
Only about 20 per cent of the St James school was deemed useable after the blaze, meaning early years classes were the only ones able to continue. It is envisaged the school will be rebuilt and open by September 2017.
Before visiting Allhallows today, the group was at the Trust’s Hundred of Hoo Academy for the ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of work on a new primary school at the Academy.
The new school, which will have one form of entry, will run as an “all through academy” providing education for children aged four to 19.
The school is expected to open in September 2017 and will cater for 210 pupils when full.
Medway Council is responsible for funding and managing the project.
Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Andrew Mackness said: “The expansion of the Hundred of Hoo Academy will go some way in meeting the demand for primary school places on the Peninsula and I look forward to seeing the build progress over the next year.
“We have worked closely with the Williamson Trust to design the new building, and will continue to liaise with them as this vital project progresses.”
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