Work due to start on school involved in £30m project

Headteacher Jim Stephenson seen outside John Spence Community High School at North Shields.
Headteacher Jim Stephenson seen outside John Spence Community High School at North Shields.

Work is due to start on improving facilities at a borough school.

Planning permission has been granted for the rebuilding of John Spence Community High School, in Preston Road North, North Shields.

The new school building will provide a fantastic working environment for our students and staff

Jim Stephenson, headteacher

The school is to be transformed into a 21st century building fit for the modern day curriculum.

It is part of a £30m school rebuilding plan which will see four borough schools – Whitehouse Primary, Longbenton Community College, John Spence and Marden high schools – replaced with new buildings.

The schools will all be built under the Government’s Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP) to rebuild schools across the countries that have the greatest need.

John Spence School will be partly demolished and replaced with a new, smaller two-storey building.

The existing sports block, drama and arts block, playing fields, 4G football pitch and car parking areas will be retained.

Jim Stephenson, headteacher, said: “I am delighted that the Local Authority has been able to secure investment through the national Priority Schools Building Programme to build three new schools in North Tyneside, and particularly delighted that John Spence Community High School is one of the schools which is to be rebuilt.

“Work is due to begin on site on June 1, with the handover of the completed building scheduled for September 1, 2016.

“The new school building will provide a fantastic working environment for our students and staff and will have state-of-the-art specialist science and technology facilities in addition to new general purpose classrooms.

“We are keeping our existing Sports Hall – the biggest and best in the region – and also our existing purpose-built Arts Block.

“Both areas will be refurbished as part of the building programme to bring these existing facilities up to the same standard as the new build.

“John Spence is already a very successful school which has gone from strength to strength in recent years. We see the investment of millions of pounds in new facilities as yet another step forward for the school.”

Building work has already started at Longbenton Community College, which is due to open to pupils in autumn 2016, and work has just commenced at Whitehouse Primary which is due to open to pupils in April next year.

Work at John Spence is expected to be ready in time for the 2016/17 school year.