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Brand new school for Send Church of England Primary after only seven months on site


Off-site construction specialist, Portakabin, has handed over a brand new school to Send Church of England Primary School, after just seven months on site.

This fast-track project is the third of six primary schools to be delivered in the £28 million Surrey and Kent batch awarded to Portakabin by the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

As part of the Government’s £4.4 billion Priority School Building Programme, which rebuilds or refurbishes schools in the worst conditions, two schools merged to form the new Send Church of England Primary School.

The school’s brand new building, built off-site and delivered by Portakabin, provides the two form entry primary school with enough space for its 240 pupils aged three to 11.

Richard Crosby, Project Director at Blacc Consulting representing the Education and Skills Funding Agency, said, “The Send Primary School project has successfully demonstrated how off-site construction can radically reduce time on site. This has huge benefits to any school. Less time on site means improved health and safety, and is far less disruptive to teaching. Achieving this is a priority for the ESFA.”

“The construction team on this project was excellent and it was great to see such passion to deliver a successful scheme for the teachers and children.”

Commenting on their new building, Susan Sayers, Head Teacher at Send Church of England Primary School said, “We all love it! To have a brand new primary school for the local community is just amazing. This school has previously been in special measures, so the new building is a huge moment of optimism for our parents, teachers and children. This is a joyous time for the school to celebrate its new name and new direction – and it has been needed for more than a decade.”

“We have had very positive feedback from the community, and everyone who has seen the building has been impressed. The Portakabin team was superb – easy to work with, fun and very sensitive to the needs of the school. The finish is beautiful and the children are particularly delighted to have their own toilets for each year group – and proper toilets rather than cubicles.”                                                   

“The floor-to-ceiling windows in the classrooms allow lots of natural light and we love the outlook onto green space.  For the first time, our hall can now accommodate the whole school, which means the older pupils can help the younger children during mealtimes.”

“Portakabin added real value to the project and made the magic of regenerating a school really exciting for the children. We would recommend the off-site approach and Portakabin to other schools in a similar situation. The finished building has definitely exceeded our expectations.”                                                

The two-storey, 1548m2 building is made up of individual modules which were manufactured offsite at the Portakabin site in York. The modules were delivered and installed during the school holidays to prevent any disruption to teaching.

Facilities provided include eight classrooms, entrance lobby and reception, kitchen, double height multi-use sports and dining hall, plant room, offices and staff room. The teaching spaces are located around a central ‘street’ through the building.

Despite challenging access and logistics, with the construction site being located only 20m from the existing, fully operational school, the Portakabin team were able to install and deliver the school on time and on budget with minimal impact on pupils and teachers.

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