Medway Labour and Cooperative Group today condemned the delays at yet another government-funded school in Medway.  It has been announced that the planned Rochester Riverside primary, due to open on 12th September to forty-three pupils, will not now be able to open on time on its site.  This is due to building delays and supply chain issues.  Council officers are working to provide an alternative temporary site.  This follows the equally disruptive last-minute decision by the Department for Education to move the temporary site for the delayed Maritime Academy from Stoke to Twydall and the delayed opening of the Leigh Academy Rainham.

Cllr Clive Johnson, Medway Labour and Cooperative Group Shadow Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said today:

‘This is the third government Free School project in Medway that has not opened on time, out of three schemes.  Again, it throws young people and their families into chaos at the last minute.  Council officers will, as they have had to do before, work hard, at short notice, to mitigate the impact.  But the government needs, urgently, to get a grip on their free school programme.

‘These Medway young people are just starting at school.  Their lives have already been disrupted by the pandemic and what they urgently need is a school environment that is stable and secure and which rapidly becomes familiar.

‘The government has failed to address the financial and recruitment pressures faced by the building industry.  Above all, the government has been distracted by its own sleaze, its own failures and its own shabby lack of competence and Medway’s young people – in this case, the youngest people in Medway – are again paying the price.’


For further information: Clive Johnson   



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