Council launches £130m schools bid

Secondary schools in the borough could be in line for improvements if a new building programme wins government backing.


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The ambitious bid, which is part of the Building Schools for the Future initiative, has been put together by the council's education department and follows its success in completing construction of the new St Cecilia's School on time and in budget.

Each project aims to improve teaching accommodation and raise standards of attainment amongst students.

Where a school has a subject specialism this will provide the focus or new building and improvements to existing facilities. All schemes have a strong ICT component which matches the new St Cecilia's where all pupils and teachers have their own lap top connected by wireless technology.

The first projects to benefit would be those already programmed to start in 2005/2006. These include major improvements at Elliott, Ernest Bevin and Southfields where initial works will cost £13.5 million. The next phase would include the redevelopment of Battersea Technology College.

If the bid were accepted in full then other schools to benefit would include Burntwood, Graveney, Chestnut Grove, Southfields, John Paul II and Salesian.

Cabinet member for education Malcolm Grimston pictured left said:

"This is not about fixing leaking roofs or sorting out the plumbing. Planned maintenance like this is already part of the council's own programme. Every proposal in the new programme has been drafted with one aim in mind: to provide the most modern and well-equipped buildings for our students.

"The better the facilities the more inspiring school can become for students and teachers. The payback will come in improved results. The council is happy to respond to the challenge laid down by the Building Schools for the Future initiative. Our track record at St Cecilia's shows we have the know how and the experience to make this work."

The council will learn in December from the Department for Education and Skills if its bid has been successful. It will then submit details of individual projects.

6th October 2003