Four schools to be rebuilt or refurbished thanks to government cash

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FOUR borough schools are to be re-built or improved thanks to a government cash boost.

The Department for Education today (Thursday) revealed which schools are to benefit from the £1.1bn national improvement programme for school buildings that are in the worst condition.

And those in North Tyneside set to benefit are John Spence Community High School, Longbenton Community College, Marden High School and Whitehouse Primary School.

Mayor Linda Arkley is delighted with the news, saying: “I am absolutely thrilled that four North Tyneside schools have been included in this programme.

“We have very high aspirations for our young learners and our schools, which is why I have been talking regularly to government ministers to highlight the needs we have here in our borough.

“It is also why I established a Task Group in 2010 to undertake a full and thorough assessment of need across our whole school estate, so we were ready to take advantage of any school capital funding opportunities as and when they arose, to get the best deal for our schools and our pupils.

“This preparation work and dialogue with ministers has clearly paid off, and I am delighted that we’ve been included in this new round of funding.

“It’s a great day for North Tyneside, and especially for those schools which will directly benefit from this programme.”

North Tyneside Council must now wait to find out from the Education Funding Agency when work will start to develop proposals to rebuild or address the condition needs of the four schools.

The procurement exercise for all PSBP schools will be completed within the next five years.

In March, the council’s cabinet also gave the go-ahead to a programme of maintenance work, starting this summer, which will see £3.1m of improvements to the condition of at least 33 schools in the borough, including repairs to windows and doors, heating systems, staff and teaching areas, roofing and electrical systems.

The work is part of the council’s prioritised school maintenance programme.