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St Augustine Academy in Maidstone reopens after fire alarm rang 25 times in a day

A school which had to shut for two days due to a constantly ringing fire alarm is today open for all students - though some buildings may remain closed for several weeks.

Pupils at St Augustine Academy in Oakwood Road, Maidstone were sent home at lunchtime on Monday after the bell rang more than 25 times that day.

All students other than those in year 11, who were due to sit exams, were also told to stay at home on Tuesday, before leaders decided to open the school again this morning.

St Augustine Academy in Maidstone. Picture: Google (7684649)
St Augustine Academy in Maidstone. Picture: Google (7684649)

However, the sports centre and English block - where the "undiagnosed faults" have occurred - are still closed and not expected to not open again until after Easter, meaning staff and students will have to use other facilities around the school.

Principal Jason Feldwick issued a statement to parents on the academy website on Wednesday morning, apologising for the disruption.

"We have put in place some interim measures to ensure your child is safe and we do not have continuous fire alarm faults occurring," he said.

"In the short term, our two main teaching blocks will be open, but our Sports centre and English block will be closed.

"All areas open have a fully functional fire alarm system.

"We have been able to find rooms for the English staff and we hope PE will continue outside, if the weather permits and we can find alternative changing rooms.

"Your child should bring their equipment and PE kit as per their timetable.

"Over the next two days I am meeting again with our fire alarm engineers and I am having a new fire risk assessment drawn up.

"We have been in touch with the fire service. Parts of our fire system need to be replaced and this will be carried out over the next couple of months.

"As new funds need to be secured from the Trust, fire alarm parts/panels ordered and the work completed, a new fire system will not be in place any earlier."

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