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Extensions at Oakley School, Kent

Oakley School in Kent have extended both the primary and secondary site in preparation for the higher pupil intake from the next academic year.

Following the increase in pupil allocation slots for Oakley School, works are in progress to extend the buildings for more space and to make the school better equipped to the needs of its students.

In January 2006, Oakley School was re-designated a District Special School for Tunbridge Wells by the Local Authority, and planning was underway to enable the school to take on a wider range of children with profound, severe and complex needs, with the provision of a new school building on the Tunbridge Wells site. However, all outstanding special school building work (which included Oakley’s) was halted in 2008 due to the economic climate and Oakley School has since been unable to take on children with profound needs.

The new construction works will create more space for classrooms, extra therapy space, sensory investigation rooms and space for general administration work in both the secondary school and the primary school which is seven miles away.

A spokesperson for the school said:

“We believe that our school places learning at the heart of all activities and daily routines. Pupils gain so much from actively finding out about the world around them through quality learning experiences, a rich curriculum and multi-sensory activities.

Extensions at Oakley School, Kent

“Our school is highly popular with both pupils and parents. We enjoy working in partnership with staff, pupils and students, parents, carers, governors and links with many others in the local community to create a truly inclusive ethos.”

Planning for the project began in November last year, followed by extension works beginning in May. The project is due to complete on 1st September, before the school opens after the summer break. The main contractor is Kent based company Durtnells and Sons and the architect is Pick Everard.

Steve Ackerley, Project Manager for Oakley School said:

“We played catch up from the end of July when the school finished for summer. Its been a sympathetic build in regards to having to work around the school day.”

Tackling this problem, construction workers have allocated slots to work during the schools break and lunch times and materials are only delivered before and after the school day, procedures are in place to keep noise to a minimum.

Construction works also include the extension of the car park, meaning that all staff and therapy and sensory specialists will have a private car parking facility and parents or guardians of children will gain easier access for dropping off and collecting pupils at various times of the day.

Extensions at Oakley School, Kent

Steve said:

“The works are going to be of fantastic benefit to the pupils in general because we will be able to deliver the curriculum in a better working and learning environment, giving pupils a better opportunity to progress. The Oakley School community is gaining a better equipped learning environment which will include a new food tech room, new meeting rooms and resourced therapy and sensory areas on both sites.”

For more information please visit www.oakleyschool.co.uk.

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