massive plan for schools

NOTTS County Council has announced ambitious plans to completely re-build 11 schools in Retford and the surrounding area.

The authority is hoping to give a makeover to 55 schools county-wide as part of a £2b Government scheme to re-build schools considered to be in the worst state of repair.

Its bid for the Priority Schools Building Programme was expected to be considered by the council’s cabinet on 12th October before submission to the Department of Education (DofE).

The 11 schools that could potentially be re-built in the north of the county are:

n Hallcroft Infant School, Retford

n Carr Hill Primary School, Retford

n Misterton Primary School, Misterton

n St Swithun’s CofE Primary and Nursery, Retford

n Sutton-cum-Lound CofE Primary, Retford

n Serlby Park Secondary School, Bircotes

n Tuxford Primary and Nursery School, Tuxford

n Rampton Primary School, Retford

n Dukeries College, New Ollerton

n Ollerton Primary School, New Ollerton

n Maun Infant School, New Ollerton

County Council leader Coun Kay Cutts said the DofE has asked them to identify schools whose outstanding repair costs amount to more than 30 per cent of the cash actually needed to re-build the schools.

“On this basis, our bid includes 41 of our primary schools, 11 secondary schools, and one special school in the worst condition. It will then be down to the Government to prioritise individual cases, taking into consideration additional criteria such as a long-term demand for more places and whether the existing school site is listed or too small to accommodate a rebuild,” she said.

“We see this as a tremendous opportunity to continue our investment in our children’s futures and our schools, which we have already begun with our ambitious refurbishment programme.”

She added: ”Whilst what goes on inside school buildings is the most important factor in education, we know that many of our buildings are in need of significant investment and that better facilities are also an aspect of improving educational standards.”

Notts County Council should find out by the end of the year which schools have been selected for inclusion in the programme.

Corporate director for children, families and culture Anthony May said he was confident the county was in with a fighting chance.

“With a £2 billion budget for the entire country, clearly we need to be realistic but we are confident that our bid will be considered seriously by Government, particularly given that we missed out on the Building Schools for the Future programme when it was ended in 2010.”

Rebuilding of the first batch of schools is likely to start as early as the latter part of next year - nationally the programme is expected to benefit between 100 and 300 schools.