• Saturday, August 13, 2022

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Schools across UK set to receive state-of-the-art refurbishments

The government plans to deliver 500 projects over the next decade which will transform education for thousands of pupils.

Education secretary James Cleverly (Photo: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images).

By: Shubham Ghosh

SIXTY-ONE schools across the UK are set to receive state-of-the-art rebuilds or refurbishments that will transform education for their pupils.

In his first announcement as education secretary James Cleverly confirmed the investment to provide thousands of children access to modern classrooms as part of the Prime Minister’s flagship School Rebuilding Programme, the education department said in a press release.

The projects will be backed by over £1 billion of funding.

Work to deliver the projects will start immediately.

It will include updating and modernising buildings, and creating state-of-the-art facilities such as new sports halls, music rooms, science labs and dining areas.

The new school buildings will be net-zero carbon in operation, helping meet the government’s net-zero target.

The schools in this round include primary, secondary, and special schools, with 11 in the North West, 10 in the North East and six in Yorkshire and the Humber, helping level up education for children of all ages and across the country.

Since 2010, around 500 schools have been refurbished or rebuilt under government programmes.

Cleverly said, “Our School Rebuilding Programme is already making a difference to the lives of pupils and their teachers. It is creating greener school sites that are fit for the future and that local communities can be proud of.

“We know how important it is to have high-quality school facilities. That is why we continue to invest billions in our rebuilding programme.”

Andy Byers, head teacher of Framwellgate School Durham, said, “I’m absolutely delighted that Framwellgate School Durham has been chosen to be part of the School Rebuilding Programme.

“Our school was designed and built in the 1960s and is old and tired and very poorly designed. With a new building we will be able to give our students facilities and a learning environment which will inspire them, and our staff, in the working environment they deserve.”

Stephen Wheatley, CEO of All Saints Catholic Academy Trust (ASCAT), said, “We are delighted that St John’s Catholic Primary School has been chosen to be included in the government’s School Rebuilding Programme.

“This represents a fantastic opportunity for the school community to work with the DfE to provide a new, modern school building that will serve countless generations of children and families in the Rickmansworth area, continuing to provide them with an exciting and engaging first rate education and all of the life changing opportunities that this brings with it.”

Mark Patton, assistant director, Education & Skills for Newcastle City Council, said, “Newcastle City Council are delighted to have another one of its nominated schools accepted as part of the government’s School Rebuilding Programme.

“This programme provides opportunities for old, out-dated school buildings to be rebuilt using modern methods of construction to create modern and efficient facilities which will serve our communities for years to come.

“The City Council looks forward to working closely with the Department for Education, schools and the local communities they serve on this and other projects over the coming year.”

Schools selected in round one of the programme such as West Coventry Academy and St John Fisher Catholic High School in Wigan are benefitting from a full replacement of all their buildings, the release said, adding the work will transform the environment children learn in including brand new sports facilities enabling more children to take part in physical activity.

The commitment to rebuild and refurbish the schools most in need is part of the government’s wider schools White Paper commitments, to ensure that by 2030 every child will be taught a broad and ambitious curriculum in a school with high expectations and strong standards of behaviour.

From early years onwards, all children will be taught a broad, ambitious, knowledge-rich curriculum and have access to high-quality extra-curricular provision. To achieve this, staff and pupils need access to top facilities.

Alongside the new rebuilding programme, the government has committed £1.8 billion in financial year 2022-23 for maintaining and improving the school estate, as part of £13.1 billion allocated since 2015.

The full list of schools can be found here.

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