The South Gloucestershire Council Cabinet today approved an updated Capital Programme that will see £77.86million invested in schools across the district, on major projects that will increase the number of places available and improve the learning environment for thousands of pupils.
The funding is the largest ever investment into schools made by the council and reflects the highest priority we attach to improving school outcomes – not just in terms of results, but in terms of the learning experience and environment, for both pupils and staff.
Key elements of the investment programme include:
£10.6million will help to deliver an all-through (ages 4-18) school at Lyde Green
£3.244million will help the Endeavour Academy Trust to deliver a new, 2-form entry primary school for Charlton Hayes
£6.55million will be spent on enlarging the Frenchay CE Primary School
£3.775million will be spent on bringing the Watermore School on to a single site
£14.4million will be spent on the development and remodelling of secondary and sixth form school provision at the Castle and Marlwood Schools, part of the CSET Multi-Academy Trust
£7.5million in maintenance funding for schools across South Gloucestershire
£7.2million available for a range of projects to upgrade existing school buildings and facilities.
Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Employment, Councillor Toby Savage, said: “My highest priority is that as a council we do everything that we can to improve our schools so that all of our young people can have the very best start in life, based on a quality education, in a quality learning environment.
“This is the largest ever funding allocation to schools in South Gloucestershire and over the next four years I am looking forward to seeing students and teachers enjoy the benefits of an almost £78million investment, which will improve existing school facilities as well as building totally new schools so that we can deliver the best for our young people.”
Andrew Evans, head teacher at Elm Park Primary School in Winterbourne, which will undergo a £4.9million rebuild under the new capital programme, said: “Everyone at Elm Park is incredibly excited by the prospect of delivering the very best educational experience for our children and families into the future. This rebuild will be transformational for our entire community!”
Will Roberts, Chief Executive of CSET and Executive Headteacher at The Castle School in Thornbury, said: “The Castle School and Marlwood Schools have been at the heart of their communities for many decades, and this funding will help to secure both schools for future generations. We have worked with the council for two years to develop these plans for improvements because we know that young people are better able to learn and teachers are better able to teach if they have the right facilities and that is what this funding will deliver.”
Katherine Turner, head teacher at Chipping Sodbury School, which will receive £350k to refurbish the toilets and reroof the main school block which will enable the additional pupil numbers admitted in 2017 to continue to age through the school, said: “We wish to express our support and thanks for the proposed 2019/2020 Capital Programme. We recognise we are in the same position as other schools in striving to secure improved outcomes for all our students which is being increasingly hindered by the deterioration in the infrastructure and hence the learning environment of the school estate.
“We therefore welcome the increased funding to address this long-standing issue and to support us in our drive to improve our school further. We feel strongly that students at Chipping Sodbury School should be able to work, learn and develop in a building fit for purpose.”
Rob Taylor, speaking on behalf of the governing body at Iron Acton School, which will receive £500,000 to improve and increase capacity, said: “The school community all very much welcome the new classroom project. It will enable us to replace tired facilities and to continue to meet the increasing demand for places. In addition reorganising the classes into distinct key stages will benefit the children’s learning. We wholeheartedly welcome this project.”