Flood-stricken Harris Primary Academy Kenley reopens after six weeks

Croydon Guardian: The school was shut amid the battle to save the nearby Godstone Road treatment works The school was shut amid the battle to save the nearby Godstone Road treatment works

Children have finally returned to a Kenley primary school six weeks after flooding forced it to close.

Harris Primary Academy Kenley shut on February 7 amid the battle save nearby Godstone Road water treatment works from flooding, which saw the school's playing field used as a temporary flood plain.

Most pupils have travelled to the Crescent Primary School in Selhurst for the last four weeks for classes, with 49 year six children studying at Harris Academy Purley and 30 others having lessons in St James's Church in Riddlesdown.

Pupils yesterday returned to Harris Primary Academy Kenley, in Little Roke Road, following work to repair flood damage to the building and checks to ensure it is clear of contamination.

Headteacher Kate Magliocco said: "The way the Crescent allowed us to use their space was really fantastic.

"Bringing together pupils from two different schools like this had the potential to be very disruptive.

"However we managed to share the classrooms and play areas in a way which meant pupils were hardly aware of each other.

"I also want to thank the parents who helped us move equipment between the two sites so we had everything we needed."

Jane Fairbourn, headteacher at the Crescent, said: "It was a pleasure to be able to help out in what was a very difficult situation for everyone.

"We were in a fortunate position to be able to open our doors to Harris’ pupils and they coped exceptionally well with the upheaval."

Councillor Tim Pollard, cabinet member for children, families and learning, said: "The education team in the council, and staff from the two schools, did a great job getting this temporary arrangement sorted out so quickly.

"They made it a priority to ensure no child was disadvantaged by the closure of the school while we dealt with the flooding."

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