Sheffield headteachers celebrate cash boost for school repairs

Andrew Truby outside the temporary classroom
Andrew Truby outside the temporary classroom
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Headteachers across Sheffield are celebrating after receiving much needed funding to make vital school repairs.

Fifteen schools will be awarded a share of £1.4bn from the Government’s Condition Improvement Fund to improve the conditon of schools.

St Wilfrid’s Primary School, in Millhouses, has been awarded £132,631 to replace a temporary classroom, with a further £10,000 coming from the school itself.

Headteacher Andrew Truby said it was a ‘dream come true’ that they are to replace a very old temporary classroom with a new modern one.

He said: “We have had a very mild winter however we were concerned that any severe weather would have resulted in the temporary classroom being unusable.

“Each year, the class teacher who ended up in the temporary classroom felt like they had drawn the short straw and the children would not be looking forward to spending a year in there.

“In September, everyone will want to be in the new classroom.”

St Thomas of Canterbury, in Meadowhead, has been awarded £243,530.25 for rewiring and fire detection.

Mr Truby, who is also executive headteacher at the school, said: “Anecdotally, an electrician said to us that if we had anything else to our current fuse board, it is likely to overload.

“The requirements of school buildings have evolved massively and the number of devices used around school today is totally different to those in the past.

“We now have interactive whiteboards, ipads and more sophisticated equipment in the kitchens.

“Another challenge is with the lighting because it can be impossible to change very old light fittings because they are no longer manufactured.

“The lighting levels in the classroom will make it much easier for children to focus on their work with daylight quality lighting. The new LED system will also save money over time on the energy bills.”

He added: “The Condition Improvement Fund for academies can feel somewhat like a lottery because so many academies apply every year for a wide range of projects from replacement windows to a leaking roof and only the highest scoring projects are selected.

“In previous years, the unsuccessful schools have been left feeling frustrated when they haven’t been able to do essential work.

“With the increasing budget pressures on schools, there is very little scope to find funds even for smaller projects, therefore it is very exciting that we have been able to secure this funding in both schools for two essential projects.

“The wonderful thing is that both projects will have a direct impact on the children’s school experience.”

Wincobank Nursery Infant School, in Wincobank, has also been successful in its funding bid to repair the school’s roof.

Headteacher Linda Hoyle said: “We are currently having our flat roofs repaired with money we were allocated last year and have been awarded money this year to repair and replace as appropriate the rest of the roof.

“The school is an old Victorian building and we have leaks in six different places during heavy rain, so the children, staff and directors are highly delighted to have received this funding from the government and hope to have the repairs complete before the winter.”