Strong calls for Orchards Academy in Swanley to be rebuild after falling into a state of disrepair have been heard in Parliament this week.

"Urgent repair" is needed at the primary school, says Sevenoaks and Swanley MP Laura Trott, who backs a local campaign which has seen over 1,300 sign a petition in support of the site being rebuilt.

She presented a petition in the House of Commons, and has asked both the Prime Minister and Education Secretary to divert the Government's school rebuilding programme funding towards the Swanley school.

The main building for the mixed school on St Mary's Road has fallen into a state of disrepair, and the site needs a major revamp according to local campaigners.

News Shopper: Orchards Academy and Laura Trott MPOrchards Academy and Laura Trott MP

MP Trott says she has been working closely with Orchards Academy since her election in 2019 to secure government funding for repair works.

Kent County Councillor Perry Cole, Swanley Town Council Leader (and local St Mary’s ward member) Michael Horwood and local district council member for St Mary’s Lesley Dyball have all lent their suppport.

Speaking following her appearance in the House of Commons, Laura Trott MP said: “I am delighted to have now presented the petition in Parliament.

"1,333 local residents across Swanley and Hextable showed their support, which is a fantastic result and I hope the Department of Education take note of this when allocating the funding available.

£I know from my recent visits just how urgently repair is needed. Helping our schools and our teachers is an absolute priority for me, and I will continue to lead the campaign locally to ensure this funding for Orchards Academy is secured.”

Natalie Willbourn, Executive Headteacher at Orchards Academy welcomed Laura Trott’s support earlier this year.

She said: “We are very grateful for Laura Trott's commitment and support to this project.

"The school and local community welcome any interest and look forward to what we hope will be a successful outcome for Orchards Academy and Swanley.”

The School Rebuilding Programme was announced in June 2020 under national plans to improve 500 school buildings across England "to ensure every child has access to the best learning environment."

The programme is backed by £1 million in government funding, and will rebuild and repair primary, secondary, specialist and sixth form colleges over the next 10 years.