Following conversations with ministers last night and this morning I am pleased to say that St James will be able to open fully tomorrow (Wednesday).
I have worked closely with the school since potentially dangerous RAAC was confirmed in the school in June. As soon as this structural risk was confirmed at St James, parents and the public were informed. The head, Mr Tutt and his staff and governors have done a heroic job in finding places for pupils to be taught and getting the works done over the summer.
It was devastating to find yesterday that the works carried out over the summer needed certifying that they met the new, higher national standard brought in last week.
I raised the situation of St James immediately with the Secretary of State on the floor of the House of Commons last night, and have met with the Minister throughout the last 24 hours. We are all relieved that it has been confirmed that the remedial works meet the new standard and the school will reopen.
I would like to pay tribute to Mr Tutt and Kent County Council for their exemplary response to a situation outside their control in which the safety of children and staff was non-negotiable.
I stand ready to help any other school which encounters similar issues in the future.