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Marden Primary Academy eyes expansion to meet demand as Kent County Council agrees funding

New images have been released showing what an expanded village primary school might look like.

Marden Primary Academy in Goudhurst Road, Marden, is set to be scaled up in size to take two forms of entry – 60 children in each year – from September next year.

How the new school might look
How the new school might look
CGI image of the new look Marden school
CGI image of the new look Marden school

It comes as Kent County Council has agreed to fund the permanent expansion of the school, which has a roll of 285 currently and is part of the Leigh Academies’ Trust (LAT).

A planning application has not yet been submitted but the plans, if approved, include the construction of a new teaching block with four classrooms – two for early years and two for Year 1 pupils – providing them with direct access to external play space.

There will also be a new kitchen and a new multi-functional hall suitable for whole-school dining, as well as assemblies and indoor sports.

Teachers will get a new staff room and the existing building will be remodelled with new classrooms, toilets and a library.

With an expanding population in Marden, the academy had come under pressure of being oversubscribed.

A CGI of the new look
A CGI of the new look

KCC has allocated £3,541,411 to fund the expansion.

Earlier this year, Ofsted judged the school to be “Good” in three areas of inspection, and “Outstanding” in three others.

A spokesman for the LAT said: “This news is extremely positive for the local community as concerns have been raised in recent years about oversubscription.

“This decision should substantially ease this situation and provide excellent new facilities for pupils.”

Speaking previously, Conservative county councillor Lottie Parfitt-Reid said: “I am delighted at the news we are to get the expansion.

The existing school
The existing school

“In recent years, we have seen a lot of housing growth in the Marden and Staplehurst catchment areas.

“So the need for more places was driven by the demand - simple as that. We had a situation of parents not being able to get a place for their child.

“I know. I have been that mother crying in the headmaster’s office because I can’t get my child in somewhere.”

The KCC member for Maidstone Rural South added: “I was particularly delighted because of the budgetary pressures there are on KCC at the moment. I had to push and push to get it.”

Leigh Academies Trust is a non-profit making charitable company, based in Strood.

Formed in 2008, the trust now runs 31 schools across the area.

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