Continuing education is the ‘main priority’ at a primary school that was devastated by fire

The morning light reveals the extent of the devastation to the school

The morning light reveals the extent of the devastation to the school

The head teacher of a primary school that was gutted by a fire has vowed to keep disruption to a minimum and said continuing to provide education for the community is the school’s “main priority”.

Kent Police said it was too early to say whether or not the blaze which devastated St James’ Church of England Academy Primary School on the Isle of Grain on Sunday (October 30) was suspicious.

The fire raged during the early hours of Sunday morning

The fire raged during the early hours of Sunday morning

Mrs Sivarajah, the Head of School at St James’, said: “The main priority of our plans will focus on providing continuity in the education for all the pupils at the school in order to ensure that any disruption to teaching and learning is kept to a minimum whilst the school building is rebuilt and refurbished.”

Crews from Kent Fire and Rescue Service attended the school at 1am and battled through the night to put out the blaze.

At its height, firefighters in eight engines tackled the fire using hose reel jets, breathing apparatus and positive pressure ventilation fans. Six engines were still in attendance at 4.30am.

A spokesman for Kent Fire and Rescue Service said: “They also used the compressed air foam system to prevent the fire from spreading. A fire investigation into the cause is underway.”

Kent Police said it was called to the school in High Street at 1.04am to assist the fire service and confirmed enquiries into the cause are ongoing.

A statement posted on the school’s website said the academy’s sponsors – the Rochester Diocesan Board of Education and the Williamson Trust – were ‘working closely with the Governing Body on putting in place contingency measures’ before the start of the new term on Monday, November 7.

The Governors plan to write to parents next week with a further update, which will be available at sthamesisleofgrain.org.uk.

The statement continued: “In the meantime, the Governors and the school staff would like to thank the local community and all those people who have sent kind messages of support for the school.”