Rayleigh and Wickford MP, Mark Francois, saw for himself new relocatable classrooms being used during a recent visit to Hockley Primary School. The school had to be closed at short notice last summer, on safety grounds, following the discovery of Reinforced Autoclaved Aereated Concrete or RAAC in parts of the school building.
Pupils were then offered alternative accommodation at other nearby schools, including Greensward Academy, Plumberow Primary Academy and Westerings, whilst new relocatable classrooms were being sought, for installation on the original school site.
As the local MP, Mark was involved in multiple meetings with Education Ministers, Essex County Council and officials from the Academies Enterprise Trust (who run the school) to try and maintain continuous education for the pupils affected. Despite multiple delays, two large, two-storey relocatable teaching blocks have now been installed and are fully in use. Mark was given a tour of one of the new relocatable teaching blocks, which have several classrooms, toilets and storage facilities which means that all of the school’s pupils are now back in face-to-face education on the school site, whilst the long-term future of the original school building is still being decided.
Commenting on his visit, Mark said:
“This has been a long and difficult journey for all involved but I would like to commend all the staff, pupils and parents for their patience and understanding while this work was being carried out. I am now working with Education Ministers and the Academies Enterprise Trust, who run the school, to try and determine whether the original school building can be safely repaired, or whether it will now have to be demolished and rebuilt. Depending on structural surveys, we hope to have a clearer way forward on this question by the spring. In the meantime, it is great to see all the Hockley pupils now being safely educated, back on site.”