Issue details

23/00079 - Kings Hill School Roof Replacement Project - Additional Expenditure

Proposed decision

I.         Approve the allocation of £1,100,000 from the Children’s, Young People and Education Modernisation and Planned Maintenance Budgets to permit the required repair works;

II.            Delegate authority to the Director of Infrastructure to, in consultation with the Director of Education, enter into any necessary contracts or other legal agreements, as required to implement this decision; and

III.          Agree for the Director of Infrastructure to be the nominated Authority Representative within the relevant agreements, with authority to enter into variations as envisaged under the contracts. 



Kings Hill Primary School is a 2FE school within the village of Kings Hill, West Malling. The school it was opened in 1997. The school consists of one large ‘S’ shaped building with the main hall and kitchen facilities attached to the front of the school. The building is single storey with a pitched roof and has a front section and a back section both of extensive area. The roof is made of Cedar Shingle tiles across the entirety of the roof.


The school first experienced leaks in the mid-2000s and this resulted in a section of the front of the schools’ roof being replaced. The problem has since worsened due to the age and condition of the wooden tiles. The roof is set at a very low pitch and the school is surrounded by woodland and built into a dip in the land, meaning that leaves and moss from the surrounding trees sit on the roof.  The build-up of detritus from the trees has rotted the wooden tiles and led to water ingress across the majority of the classrooms below.


The roof has had issues for a number of years and multiple reports and referrals from the school have been received to which extensive patching and repair works have been carried out. The Infrastructure Division’s Minor Works Team has been carrying out remedial works caused by the leaks since 2018 and the full replacement was programmed for completion by 2021, however, there were a number of issues that prevented the project progressing including COVID related and planning issues due to the original makeup of the roof.


The planners were consulted and confirmed that due to the school’s location and local planning requirements the replacement of the roof had to be with like-for-like material, cedar shingle tiles. The project was therefore pushed back as the tiles can only be sourced from Canada and have a 12 month lead in time; concern was also raised that a like for like replacement would lead to the same issue within 10-15 years. Following further consultation with the planners, it was agreed that a planning application would need to be submitted for the new roof. in order to replace the tiles with a more durable alternative material. This was submitted, and planning was granted on 29/12/2022.


The new roof will be a metal standing seam system that will last for 50 to 100 years. The original budget for the project was set in 2018 at £600k. Tenders have been returned at a cost of £890k for the works plus £100k in professional fees. This has been independently verified as an appropriate cost in today’s market.


It is not possible to carry out any further remedial or patching works due to the deterioration of the original roofing materials and a replacement has been deemed essential.  Therefore, the project needs to progress within short timescales to decrease the risk of the wet winter weather impacting the roof further and avoid water ingress from making parts of the school building unusable.


The works are to be instructed in two phases; the rear section of the roof and associated works as Phase 1 for the value of £628,011.83 has been instructed. A second phase for the front of the school will be instructed so that Phase 2 commences immediately following Phase 1 at a value of £262,692.26. This strategy minimises costs.


The combined cost is estimated at £890,704.09 and is below the threshold required for a Cabinet Member Decision of £1m; however, KCC has been advised by its professional cost consultant to make an allowance of £1,100,000 for both phases due to the risk that additional costs will be incurred during construction. With a roofing project the potential for additional costs to be identified are higher than in other projects as not all the roof’s substructure is visible until the tiles are removed. It is therefore appropriate and prudent for an allowance of an additional 23.4% above tender costs to be made.


Phase 1 of the works will commence in September 2023 and the subsequent completion of Phase 2 is expected in January 2023 based on the current programme.



Option 1 – Do Nothing

No further temporary repairs are deemed to be effective and water ingress is probable without replacement. Do Nothing would result in significant parts of the school not being usable and permanent damage being created to the building, as water would be within the building it is likely the school would have to fully or partly close to pupils in response, as the school would not be deemed as safe, warm and dry. Temporary accommodation would be required for displaced pupils and a more significant repair of the building would need to take place due to additional damage further ingress would create.


Option 2 – Localised Repairs

Localised repairs have been undertaken over the last 10 years, there are no further localised repairs that can be carried out. This option would risk further water ingress and the associated risk of school closure and further remedial works.


Option 3 – Proceed with Roof Replacement

This would mitigate the risk of any future works being required in response to further water ingress and remove potential school closure risks and provide safe teaching environments and improvement to the fabric of the school. This a long-term measure.


After reviewing the estimated costs, potential risk elements and the key advantages/disadvantages of each option it is recommended that replacement is the only appropriate solution. 


Data Protection implications

None – the schools will continue to adhere to Data Protections legislation during the planned works.


Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: Malling Rural East;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 01/09/2023

Decision due: Not before 4th Oct 2023 by Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Reason: To allow the required 28 day notice period under Executive Decision arrangements

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Lead director: Rebecca Spore

Department: Education & Young People's Services

Contact: Joanne Taylor, Head of Capital Works Email:

Consultation process

Has any public consultation been undertaken or is any planned?

A planning application was submitted in November 2022 and planning permission was granted in December 2022.


The governing body of the school have been kept informed of the project progress throughout. 

Public consultation is not required.


Cabinet Committee consultation planned: 

The Children’s and Young People Cabinet Committee considered and endorsed the decision on 12 September 2023.


Which Divisions / Local Members are particularly affected:

Sarah Hudson – Maidstone Rural East


Have views been sought from local Members? 

The Local Members’ views will be sought and recorded in the Children’s, Young People and Education Services Cabinet Committee Report.

Financial implications: The cost for instructing the winning tender is as follows; £890,704.09 (Phase 1 = £628,011.83 and Phase 2 = £262,692.26) Professional Fees: £45,069.63 Contingency: £89,070.41 (=10% total construction cost) The funds will be allocated from the CYPE Annual Planned Enhancement Programme for April 23 -24, the allocation has been made by officers and the work is affordable within the budget. In order to facilitate this increase in budget, a number of nonessential schemes have been moved from this year's programme and place onto the Forward Management Plan for 2024-2025.

Legal implications: Works will be completed in accordance with the planning permission to support KCC with maintaining its statutory duty to provide pupil places.

Equalities implications: None