Schools having to use temporary rooms

Pupils at some Eastbourne area schools are being taught in temporary classrooms first installed decades ago.

An East Sussex County Council document handed to the Herald lists every school in the county which is home to a temporary building, with details of what they are used for and when they were erected.

And it shows that there are a number which have been in use for well over a decade.

Earlier this month county councillors met in Lewes to discuss the issue, with many warning it would take a long time to bring every school building up to scratch because of a funding shortfall of tens of millions of pounds across the authority’s remit.

And a spokesman for the council said many of the buildings were of a high, modern standard and were generally used for things other than teaching.

They said, “There are 20 state funded primary schools and six state funded secondary schools in Eastbourne, providing some 12,500 pupil places.

“Across these schools, there are 19 temporary buildings used for additional facilities, teaching or by community groups.

“They are of a high standard and are well maintained. There is only one temporary building that has been in place in for more than 20 years. This building provides a community facility at Shinewater school. The building is not used as a classroom.

“Retaining this building enables the school to offer a range of additional activities such as breakfast and after-school clubs and other community activities.”

However, the document seen by the Herald shows temporary buildings at Willingdon Primary School were put up before 1974; St Thomas a Becket has a music room which predate 1974; Hazel Court has a specialist teaching room built in 1989 and Hellingly Primary has a general teaching room dating back to 1995.