Schools to get £100m for improvements

NMAC11-1251-1'Michele Bailey, head teacher at Ethel Wainwright School, which is in line for some refurbishment.
NMAC11-1251-1'Michele Bailey, head teacher at Ethel Wainwright School, which is in line for some refurbishment.
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SCHOOLS in Mansfield and Ashfield are set to undergo vital building improvement works as part of a £100m county council programme taking place over the next three years.

The first phase, which Nottinghamshire county councillors will consider at a meeting tomorrow, will see 25 schools put forward for a share of £15m for improvements in 2011/12.

These include Meden School and Technology College in Warsop, Newlands Junior School in Forest Town, Orchard Primary and Nursery School in Kirkby, Croft Primary School in Sutton, Forest View Primary and Nursery School in New Ollerton, Leamington Primary and Nursery School in Sutton and Ethel Wainwright Primary School in Mansfield.

John True, service director for children, families and cultural services at the council, says the works will include repairs and improvements to roofs, windows, heating and electrical systems and building exteriors.

Michele Bailey, headteacher at Ethel Wainwright Primary School, said staff were ‘delighted’ at being one of the first schools in line for much-needed improvements.

“We have, as yet, no details about the extent of the work but our priority at Ethel Wainwright will be replacing leaking roofs and rotten window frames,” she said.

“It will be wonderful to provide our children and staff with the learning environment they deserve.”

The county council will fund around £30m of the programme, which follows the cancellation of the Building Schools for the Future project, while the rest of the money will come from the authority’s Government grant for school maintenance.

The schools most in need of improvements have been prioritised for the first year and the remaining schools will be reassessed before the second year’s works are finalised.

Coun Philip Owen, the council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said it was the largest ever investment the authority has made to improve the condition of schools.

“We are committed to making sure that Nottinghamshire children have a good start in life with the educational opportunities that they deserve,” he said.