Partnership working ensured face-to-face learning for St Thomas' C of E Primary School

Thanks to a boroughwide team effort, pupils & teachers settled back at their desks in just 2 days after Reinforced Aerated Autoclave Concrete was found at St Thomas' C of E Primary

Partnership working ensured face-to-face learning for St Thomas' C of E Primary School

Following the discovery of RAAC at the Marriot Road school last week Stockport Council made the difficult decision two weeks ago week to temporarily close St Thomas' C of E Primary School, Marriott Street, on Monday and Tuesday last week.

However, thank to brilliant teamwork between the council, school colleagues and partners all displaying our #TeamStockport values, by working together we were able to get the children back into education by Wednesday, 1 November.
Special thanks must also go to the parents and pupils for their patience and understanding.

While Nursery and Reception children were able to stay in the school as the Early Years area was unaffected, arrangements were made with the school’s meals provider to cook lunches for the children elsewhere and bring them to the Marriot Street school.

In partnership with the Laurus Trust and the Diocese of Chester, arrangements were made to teach Years 1-6 pupils at Woodford Primary School, five miles away for at least three weeks while work is undertaken.

This required a massive team effort, not just by staff at both schools, Laurus, its school meals provider who will be providing meals for pupils while at Woodford and the Local Authority, but also wider council staff. This has included colleagues in Highways to ensure safe pick up and drop off areas, those who arranged bus travel, IT staff who kept the school’s computer systems online and staff who have surveyed the building and are working with contractors to make the building safe for pupils to return as soon as possible.

Councillor Wendy Meikle, Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education, Stockport Council, said: "We are very grateful that so many people have come together to help find a solution to ensure that there is minimal disruption for St Thomas’s children."

Paul Sanchez, headteacher at St Thomas’ C of E Primary School, said: "Our main priority has always been firstly for the safety of pupils and staff, but also to get the children back to their learning as soon as possible. Thanks to an amazing joint effort and teamwork by so many different people and organisations, we have been able to so with minimal disruption.

"St Thomas' staff and pupils are extremely thankful for the warm welcome we have received by all the staff at Laurus Trust and the pupils at Woodford Primary School. We are hugely grateful for the support and assistance in ensuring a smooth transition to continue the education for the pupils at St Thomas’ with minimal disruption. Over the past week we have been supported and worked closely with the Local Authority, Diocese of Chester and Stockport Estates Team, it has been a collective response to support the stakeholders of St Thomas'. The children have settled into their new surroundings and are enjoying their adventure travelling to Woodford each day, they are particularly impressed with the large playground and beautiful view from their classroom."

Linda Magrath, CEO of the Laurus Trust, said: "When we were contacted by Stockport, we knew we wanted to help as we had space available for them to use. Thank you to pupils, parents and staff here for helping make this happen."

Tim Bowman, Director of Education, Work and Skills at Stockport Council, said: "Thank you to everyone – parents, children, staff at the school, colleagues at Woodford Community Primary School, other partners and at Stockport Council that we have managed to get pupils back into education so quickly. It is recognition that when we need to we can all pull together and a great example of #TeamStockport and our kindness and passion to do the right thing and help each other out."

A full risk assessment and safeguarding review has been carried out as part of the temporary relocation. Work to make St Thomas’ safe for pupils to return is expected to take at least three weeks.