Devon bids for cash to build five new schools
DEVON County Council has slapped in a bid for �74 million of Government cash to build five new schools, including secondaries at Chulmleigh and Ilfracombe. Other new schools are planned for Tiverton and Dartmouth together with Marland special school near
DEVON County Council has slapped in a bid for �74 million of Government cash to build five new schools, including secondaries at Chulmleigh and Ilfracombe.
Other new schools are planned for Tiverton and Dartmouth together with Marland special school near Torrington.
Work could start on the new schools in three years if the bid for cash from the Government's Building Schools for the Future programme is successful.
Devon is one of 30 local authorities invited to bid for the early release of funds by the Government because of its success in delivering other projects.
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The county council will hear later in the year if it has been successful in its application. If it is, work will start on planning the new buildings almost immediately and building work could start in 2012.
The bid estimates �26 million will be needed for the new school at Tiverton, �21 million for Ilfracombe, �11 million for Chulmleigh, �9 million for Dartmouth and �7 million for Marland. The county council will also contribute up to �7 million of its own cash.
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Devon County Council leader John Hart has already been to Ilfracombe to hear from local people what they want their community school to achieve and what facilities they would like. Similar events are being planned for the other towns.
Mr Hart said: "The bedrock for our future economic success in Devon is ensuring our children have the best possible education.
"It is good teachers, students with application and supportive families who make the biggest contribution. But I firmly believe that a learning environment, purpose-built for 21st century learning, does much to raise aspirations and give students and the wider community a real sense of worth.
"When I was responsible for education in Devon from 2001 to 2005 we reorganised education in Exeter and built five new secondary schools. Since then exam results have soared in the city.
"I believe, if our bid is successful, these new schools will have the same effect. And it's not just about benefits for our children. A new school can be designed and built to cater for the whole community. That's why we are seeking people's views on what they want from their local school in addition to consulting with school leaders, staff, students and governors.