Mixed feelings over £80M bid for area’s crumbling schoolsBy Victoria Corbett
November 27, 2008
Headteachers say schools are being penalised for good results after missing out on a priority list of buildings to be rebuilt under an £80 million funding bid.
Wokingham Borough Council’s executive committee is set to approve an “expression of interest” in bidding for the cash from the Department for Children, Schools and Families’ (DCSF) Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme at a meeting this evening.
However, Alex Biddle, headteacher of St Crispin’s School in London Road, and Suzanne Richards, headteacher at The Holt School in Holt Lane, have both expressed their disappointment at not making the initial list.
The council has based the list on the school buildings’ condition and needs and has made schools with lower 2008 GCSE results a priority.
The first list, which could change before the start of the project, contains Bulmershe School in Chequers Way, Woodley, Emmbrook School in Emmbrook Road, The Forest School in Robin Hood Lane, Winnersh, and Southfield School in Gipsy Lane, Wokingham.
Once work has finished on these schools, the council can then bid for up to £100 million for the second list of schools, which includes The Holt, St Crispin’s, Maiden Erlegh School in Silverdale Road, Earley, and The Piggott School in Wargrave Road, Wargrave,
However, the second batch of schools face a long wait, as the council says work on the first schools would not start until 2011.
To get the cash, the council must prove to the DCSF how the work would improve education and how it will meet the deadlines.
The projects must also relate to the council’s Core Strategy – the blueprint for future development in the borough – to prove there are secondary schools to support the population increase.
- More in this week's Wokingham Times.