£80m makeover for Sheffield schools

SHEFFIELD schools are to receive more than £80 million over the next three years to carry out repairs and refurbishments.

Monday, 15th October 2007, 10:16 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th October 2007, 10:54 am

The funding will also help schools upgrade key facilities, creating state-of-the-art classrooms, and improving arts, sports and ICT provision.

The cash allocation, part of the Government's annual spending review, covers the next three financial years up to 2011.

It is separate to the 340 million which has already been secured by the city to rebuild and modernise secondary schools over the next 10 years.

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It will mean a typical unmodernised primary school will receive 34,000 a year, while a typical unmodernised secondary school will get 113,000.

New or refurbished primaries will get 17,000 a year while new or upgraded secondaries will receive 56,000 to put towards maintenance costs.

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Executive director of children's services, Jonathan Crossley-Holland, said the allocation was very pleasing and matched what had been expected. "It will help us to plan for the next three years," he said.

"The continued support by central Government will enable us to address many of the backlog maintenance issues that are faced within our schools and will allow us to modernise, where possible, a number of our school buildings."

Extra funding for upgrading primary schools in particular is expected to be confirmed soon, continuing the biggest building investment programme seen since the 1950s.

Sheffield Heeley MP Meg Munn said the 82.5 million for city schools was almost a third more than the previous three year allocation, in real terms.

"This is great news for Sheffield. Ten years ago classrooms and school facilities were in a dire state as decades of underinvestment let down generation after generation of young people," she said.

"Today, schools are being revolutionised by a huge and sustained investment by the country.

"In my own constituency, all the secondary schools will have been completely re-built by the end of next year."

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