Nottinghamshire County Council has confirmed it will be upgrading six more primary schools across the county with extra classrooms by the end of 2018, in a £4.5m programme.
Then project will see mobile classrooms replaced, preparing for a projected increase in demand for school places, and more comfortably housing pupils where the schools are already under pressure to accommodate a surge in pupil numbers.
At a meeting of the Council’s children and young people’s committee, on Monday (19th March), committee chairman Councillor Philip Owen said: “This investment will help improve the learning environment for both pupils and staff by providing light, airy and spacious permanent classrooms in place of the previous temporary ones or providing additional accommodation that allows for the current and projected increase in demand for primary school places in certain areas of the county.
“In the process, 33 more places are also being created overall.
“This £4.5m is cash we received from the Government’s Basic Needs Fund as our 2017/18 allocation. The amount we get annually is based on information we supply about school capacities, admission numbers and projected future demand for places. We also receive additional funding through developer contributions where those extra places arise from new housing being built.”
“We have also earmarked more than £20m for school place planning for the coming year and are currently undertaking feasibility studies with the aim of creating several hundred additional places by 2020/21,” added Coun Owen.
“We have a statutory duty to ensure we have sufficient school places across all schools, irrespective of whether they are academies, local authority maintained or otherwise governed.”
In terms of other replacement school buildings, the Council has also set aside capital funding towards providing a new school in Bestwood and a replacement school for Orchard Special School in Newark – plans for both are progressing. And cash has also been allocated towards the cost of a new school on the Rolls-Royce site at Hucknall (approximate site for it circled in photo) – this is currently at feasibility stage
Between 2012 and 2017/17, the Council has also invested £81m, through its Schools Capital Refurbishment Programme (SCRP), in schemes to address the deteriorating condition of schools which fall beyond the scope of its annual planned maintenance programme.
“Since we approved this programme in 2011 – which is now complete – we have delivered major refurbishment works to around 260 schools,” said Coun Owen.
“And our subsequent £5.74m building improvement programme has been focusing on specific areas of maintenance to help our school buildings function more efficiently long-term.”
Work so far has included upgrading biomass school boilers to bring them up to current standards, improving kitchen ventilation and replacing old heating pipes so they can cope with the demands of modern boilers.