INVESTMENT in school and nursery buildings across Stockton-on-Tees is set to soar to £52million.
In September 2017, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council announced a programme of school expansions, improvements and rebuilds after securing £37million ‘basic need’ funding from Government.
The Council has now secured a further £7.7million of ‘basic need’ funding for 2020/21 as well as £7.5million in financial contributions from schools and developers.
Spending proposals to support the ongoing improvement works will be considered by the Council’s Cabinet tomorrow (Thursday).
Councillor Lisa Evans, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, said: “Though councils no longer have powers to build new schools, it’s vitally important that we do all we can to provide education in high quality environments for our children and young people.
“We are determined to support our schools irrespective of their Governance, so proposals for this additional funding will support the existing plans to improve building conditions and accessibility in academies and Diocesan schools as well as our secondary schools, pre-school and SEND provision where need has been identified.
“These significant investments will also ensure we have enough capacity to keep pace with the Borough’s growth and give our children and young people the very best start in life.”
Where will the money be spent?
The updated investment programme that Cabinet will be asked to agree includes the following schemes, some of which have been completed:
All Saints Church of England Academy
A £3.2 million expansion to create an additional 40 Year 7 places (200 places overall) has already been agreed.
Our Lady and St Bede Catholic Academy
A £5.4million investment to create an additional 60 Year 7 places (300 overall) and improve the condition of the school.
A major scheme to transform the school by replacing a significant element of the current school with a new £10.4million facility. This includes works already under way to build a new sixth form block.
A £1million state-of-the-art school hall is under construction.
Northfield School and Sports College
A £5.5million expansion to create an additional 60 Year 7 places (300 overall) has been completed. The purpose-built block opened in autumn 2018.
Ian Ramsey CE Academy/Outwood Academy Bishopsgarth
A proposed £5million spend on expanding the two schools. The expansions will be timed to keep pace with anticipated housing growth in the area and supported by financial contributions from developers.
A £500,000 investment towards a new Children’s Hub at Tilery Primary School is proposed. The Children's Hub will provide information, advice and guidance on services and support for children, young people and families.
A £2million expansion of nurseries at High Flyers Children’s Centre, Crooksbarn Primary, Prior’s Mill C of E Primary, and St Mark’s Elm Tree Primary is complete along with a part conversion of Fairfield Library to accommodate child care provision.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) provision
A £2.7million programme of improvements to SEND provision at schools across the Borough, where needed. This allocation has since funded SEND adaption works at Junction Farm, Pentland, Preston and Billingham South primary schools together with a scheme at Northfield School.
Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) and primary schools
It is proposed that funding of £10million is retained to support further development of primary schools and alternative provision across the Borough.