Bulge Class Information & Updates

Bulge Class Update

Parents and Carers have asked for more detail about the forthcoming construction and school management as we build and work towards accommodating the Bulge Classes in September 2016. Below you will find answers to some of the questions we have received. We are trying to reach a balance between providing useful responses and too much information.

There are additional questions that have been asked and we will continue to update this page as resources permit. Sign up to receive notification of changes with Change Detection (this is a internet provided service, not linked to the school).

To that end, we’re sharing comments from Teaching Staff and Support Staff about the Bulge Class Expansion.

Responding to questions from parents and carers, we have a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions from Ealing Council.

The School and Governors hosted a Question and Answer meeting for Parents and Carers on 25 May. Take a look at the presentation. On the 15 June the Headteacher and Governors hosted Ealing Council and building contractors ARJ presented further details about the project and answered questions. Some very good questions were asked setting out the concerns and issues from Parents, Carers and the wider school community. Several questions required responses and these can be found in Frequently Asked Questions 2 from Ealing Council. We also promised to share the Asbestos Survey.

Finally, by coincidence the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have just published a report entitled Better Space for Learning.

July 2016  St Mark’s Primary School – Bulge Class Newsletter – July 2016

4 August 2016 Update – Revision A Report on Structural Survey with regards demolition of the current Caretaker’s House.

20 August 2016  Update –  St Marks Primary School – Connection of Caretakers House to School

4 September 2016 Update Air Clearance

7 October 2016 Update Asbestos Report

22 November 2016 Update presentation –  PRESENTATION – St Mark’s Parent Meeting no 2 

20 December 2016 St Mark’s Primary School – Bulge Class Newsletter – #4 – December 2016

21 March 2017 Update Presentation PRESENTATION – St Mark’s Parent Meeting no 3 

Project Phasing

There have been many requests for more details about the timing of the different phases of the build. Drawings and plans are still evolving. In response to a request from St Mark’s for assurances that the schedule will be met, design activity is being brought forward. More detail of the build timing is provided in the drawings, and an outline summary is provided below.

Phasing Drawings

AL – 500 – Work Phase 1
AL – 501 – Work phase 2
AL – 502 – Work Phase 3

Phase 1 – 21 July to 28 August (Summer Holidays 2016)

This incorporates movement of nursery to the infant block, the construction of the canopy and modification of toilets. In the main building there will be reconfiguration of nursery space and neighbouring ground floor for two classrooms, the Breakfast Club and Food Technology.

AB 101 – Proposed GF-B1 (Phase 1)
AB 110 – Proposed layout Phase 1
AB 201 – Proposed GF & FF-B2 Phase 1
AB 202 – Proposed Elevation B2 Phase 1
AB 203 – Proposed Layout B2-GF Phase 1

Phase 2 – 21 July 2016 to end of summer holidays August 2017

Demolition of the Caretaker’s House, construction of the new block (a hall and three classrooms) and the installation of a kitchen in the small hall. This phase includes provision of a lift to the upper floor and an additional ground floor toilet.

AB-102 – Proposed GF-B1 (Phase 2)
AB-103 – Proposed 1stF-B1 (Phase2)
AB-105 – Proposed Elev & 3D view-B1 (Phase2)
AB-106 – Proposed Roof Plan B1 (Phase2)
AB-107 – Proposed Sections-B1(Phase2)
AB-120 – Prop Layout GF Phase 2
AB-121 – Prop  Layout  FF-B1 Phase 2

Phase 3 – Summer Holiday 2017

The reconfiguration of the old kitchen to a meeting space and the current 2015/16) nursery area and reception/admin spaces to upgrade reception, administration, school business manager, site manager, Head teacher offices and Visitor entrance.

AB-104 – Proposed GF & FF -B1 (Phase 3)


Communication and Site Plan

These documents set out the Communication and Site Plan for the period of construction.

St Mark’s – Communication Plan
AL – 101 – Proposed Site Contractor’s Compound & Access
AL – 102 – Proposed Site Plan


Project duration – Why is the project going to take 15 months?

We have been asked by some parents why the project will take as long as 15 months, and by others why we think it will be completed so quickly?

We have worked with the Ealing Council team to minimise, as much as possible, the impact of construction work. We have stressed the importance of classrooms being available a week before the end of the summer holidays to allow teachers and staff time to prepare the classrooms. Within these parameters, the work has been realistically scheduled to take 15 months.


Can you clarify the responsibilities of the school/governing body in relation to the build, and what are those of the contractor and other outside bodies?

The responsibilities of the school and governing body are to run the school and to help St Mark’s provide the best possible education for all the pupils to develop every child’s full potential.

Ealing Council’s role is to engage, manager and monitor the contractor.

The Contractor’s role is to deliver the contract.


Will the project adhere to the “Considerate Construction Scheme”?

Yes, the school and Governors have repeatedly requested this as a requirement and a condition.


Has the logistics plan been done yet? Services for site staff, etc – making temporary connections to existing services.

No, not to the best of our knowledge.


Pre-Demolition Survey – With particular reference to asbestos, has this been done yet?

No, not to the best of our knowledge.


What is the impact of construction on fire exits, emergency service access, fire assembly points and disabled access?

Fire exits, emergency service access, fire assembly points and disabled access will be maintained as required for the safe and appropriate running of the school.


Site access: How will construction deliveries be scheduled and managed to ensure the safe access and egress of students and carers, at the start and end of the school day and also for nursery sessions? How will normal deliveries be maintained?

Site access is currently planned to only be through Lower Boston Road to provide access to the construction compound and will remain within the construction area – see phasing diagrams. Access via Green Lane and Marlow Court will not be impacted by these. Any additional construction delivery considerations will be managed as awareness of an issue arises.

Normal deliveries will continue as usually scheduled.


Several other local primary schools have undergone extensive building projects in recent years. What consultation, if any, has taken place with these?

Some of the Governors visited Hobbayne, Selbourne and Little Ealing Primary Schools to gather information about their experience in managing construction projects.

The universal view from these schools visited was that managing the impact of a build is demanding on school time. It was suggested to be clear about what the school expects from the construction project, and to be actively involved in the management of the project. We have taken on board all these points.


What assurances need to be sought to ensure a contractor will best allow the school to function during term time and what accountability will there be if they don’t?

From the outset we have set the condition that St Mark’s is a place of education and work.

We have known the proposal would be a very demanding logistical challenge given its location at the heart of the school. The school shared this concern with the design team and council at the earliest opportunity and on many occasions since. Consequently, it is for the Council and their design team to meet those requirements and expectations.

The contractor is contractually accountable to Ealing Council. However, as set out in the Communications Plan, the school will be in direct communication with the contactors on a regular basis.

We are under no illusion that there will be challenges – some of them substantial. However, where these cannot be avoided, we will look to minimise their impact and in some cases obtain educational benefit from the situation where appropriate.


How will the safety and safeguarding of pupils managed during construction?

Ealing Council has rules that are set in place for contractors. These rules encompass safeguarding. Information can be found at the Ealing Grid for Learning website – www.egfl.org.uk – at Management of Contractors. Safeguarding is covered in the checks to be made on contractors visiting school sites.

The school will manage safeguarding in line with our responsibilities.


What is the student flow in and around the school site during construction? What is the school travel plan?

The construction site will be behind hoardings allowing students safe passage in and out of school as is currently the case. At present, we are not aware of issues that will impact the areas of the school in relation to student flow that are outside the construction area.

We are updating the current school travel plan, in conjunction with asking children in each class how they travel to school and the local authority, and this will be posted on the website.


How do we best raise concerns both in advance and during the works?

Concerns about the build before the works can be shared with the school in the usual ways (by calling, emailing or speaking to staff). During the works there will be a communication plan for escalation of issues. We will share this as soon as it is available.


There is concern about the loss of hard-surface play space, and revised plans have increased this. Would it be an option to put down artificial grass on some of the field area so that it can be used all year round?

This is not an option that has been considered. The school and Governor view is that a grass field is preferable to artificial grass.


Bulge class – Assuming they will be accommodated in the EYS/KS1 building, does that mean that the Yr2’s will be in the “main building” – where exactly are they to be accommodated, plans look a bit vague for this.

The decision on where class groups will be located during 2016/17 will be made on a number of factors and is part of the usual yearly review of classrooms. The precise location of Year 2 has not yet been decided. Similarly, we are continuing to look at the precise phasing for 2017/18 and beyond.


Staff recruitment – will there be adequate extra funding for this, especially considering the current teacher shortage?

With additional pupils, comes additional funding to pay for associated costs. We hope that the improved facilities at St Mark’s will contribute to attracting continued high quality of teachers and support staff.


Future-proofing – if the school does need to permanently expand to 3 form entry will the hall and kitchen be able to accommodate this?

At this point we are not clear and will endeavour to find the answer to this question. It is likely that the kitchen probably would accommodate 3 form entry, but not the hall. If the school was to permanently expand, the new kitchen would be considerably better equipped to cope with the additional classes. While this may seem an unsatisfactory answer, the current kitchen was designed for 1 form entry, so is already working at twice capacity.

It should be repeated, that the current construction work is not sufficient to accommodate a permanent expansion. Both the Head and Governors have stated that if a permanent move to 3 form entry was requested, the school would require additional resource.