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Medway Council approve project to improve Will Adams Pupil Referral Unit in Gillingham

By Clare Freeman

Major improvements are to take place at a school in Gillingham which Ofsted has criticised for being too small.

The Will Adams Pupil Referral Unit, Woodlands Road will be refurbished inside and out and a fully enclosed weatherproof link is to be created between the school and Summit House next door.

Will Adams Pupil Referral Unit, Woodlands Road, Gillingham

The school recently received a good rating from Ofsted, but had previously been told that access to some subjects was severely restricted by the amount of available space in the small building.

To create extra space, the school has been sharing the facilities at Summit House with the Duke of Edinburgh programme.

Cllr Mike O’Brien, in charge of education, said that the facilities at Will Adams need to be improved.

He said that the undercover walkway is “absolutely necessary” as it will improve security at the site.

Other improvements include new classrooms, a five-a-side football pitch, an extended playing field and improved security at the main entrance.

The unit works with 60 pupils aged 14 to 16 who have been excluded from mainstream schools to try and re-engage pupils with the learning process.

The students study a mix of academic and vocational courses.

A Medway Council spokesman said: "Will Adams has long needed additional space in order to offer its secondary students a full curriculum.

"Due to space constraints they have been borrowing space from the youth facilities next door at Summit House and at the youth centre.

"Now, due to a planned building programme students will have access to further learning spaces including a food technology classroom and outdoor areas for sport."

Money was allocated to the project in February 2014, and the amount set aside for the improvements is £1,175,000.

The contract with the company who will carry out the work, was approved at the Council Cabinet meeting yesterday.

The Duke of Edinburgh programme is moving to the Strand, giving them greater access to water based facilities.

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