Schools will get planned investment

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MAJOR investment in borough schools is being planned to help bring them up to standard.

A plan has been drawn up by North Tyneside Council which will see work carried out over the next five years.

At least 33 buildings have been earmarked for improvements between now and 2017, with £8m allocated this year for the most urgent jobs.

Condition work has already started on a number of schools including improvements to windows and doors, heating systems, staff and teaching areas, roofing and electrical systems.

And this will continue throughout the summer with work on windows at Monkhouse Primary School, North Shields, and Whitley Bay’s Valley Gardens Middle and Wellfield Middle.

There will also be roofing and electrical improvements at Marden High School.

Mayor Linda Arkley said: “It is important that our school buildings are fit for purpose and that we provide inspirational learning environments for our children and young people.

“The council has carried out a complete audit of the condition of its school buildings to identify what needs to be improved and where, and prioritised the most urgent work.

“As a result of this, we have now agreed a plan which will see significant investment to a number of schools over the next five years.”

The five-year strategy – to be reviewed every year – also includes plans to replace mobile accommodation, provide additional teaching spaces, and new buildings on a number of sites.

The plan, subject to confirmation of future years’ funding allocation from government, has been put together by council officers, elected members, headteachers and other stakeholders.

In addition, four North Tyneside schools – Longbenton Community College, Marden High, John Spence High and Whitehouse Primary – have been included in the government’s Priority School Rebuilding Programme, and work will start on rebuilding in the next five years.

Following the formal announcement in May, the Education Funding Agency has confirmed that Longbenton will be included within the first batch of schools to be delivered under this initiative.