PUPILS who lobbied the Prime Minister to fix their school after it started ‘falling apart’ have finally got a building they deserve.

Celebrity children’s book illustrator Korky Paul was the special guest at Rose Hill Primary School in Oxford, as it unveiled £1.3m of long-awaited repairs.

Headteacher Sue Vermes said: “It felt like this is the end of one part of the school’s story and the start of another, so it was fitting to have such a major figure in children’s literature here to help us celebrate.

“It’s wonderful that Korky gave up his time to be with us on a special day, marking how far we have come such as a school in the last couple of years.”

Mr Paul, who lives in Oxford, is best-known for his illustrations of the Winnie the Witch book series, and signed copies for Rose Hill families.

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He cut a huge ribbon at the school on Wednesday to signify the end of works, and led drawing workshops with children.

The school was promised a new building more than a decade ago, under a Labour scheme that was scrapped when the coalition government came to power in 2010.

Fed-up pupils wrote to then-PM David Cameron in 2015 and hand-delivered the letter to Downing Street, saying their school was ‘ unsafe and falling apart.’

Their campaign came after the Oxford Mail reported that year that children had to wear coats, hats and scarves in some of the poorly-insulated classrooms.

It was not until this year, however, that repairs began.

This was after the River Learning Trust took over the school, and secured funding for the work from the Department for Education.

Doors, windows, lighting and floors throughout the building have been replaced, ensuring a warmer environment.

Mr Paul said after the ceremony: “It was a marvellous afternoon at a wonderfully-refurbished and renovated school.

“It was a great honour and pleasure to cut the ribbon and a great comfort to know the children will now be warm and safe in very pleasant surroundings.”

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Mrs Vermes added: “The children were so excited to have Korky here - although perhaps not as excited as one or two of the teachers and parents!”

Rose Hill Primary School was forced to become an academy after being rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted in January 2016.

It was re-inspected in late 2017, gaining ‘good’ ratings in most areas and ‘requires improvement’ overall, but it still struggled to find an academy trust that was willing to take it on due to the cost of the necessary repairs.

It was only after the River Learning Trust took on the so-called ‘orphan’ school that funding was made available for the refurbishment.

When the school joined last year, the trust’s chief executive Paul James said: “I am continually impressed by the commitment and determination of the staff and pupils at the school.

“It has taken some time to get the point where Rose Hill is able to join RLT because of concerns about the amount of financial investment the building requires.”

The school invited families, friends and colleagues past and present to come and look around on Wednesday, and see the changes for themselves.

In a news post on the school’s website earlier this month, school staff said the repairs had created a ‘fresher and more comfortable place to learn.'