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Saturday, 5 August 2017

Buildings grant success will be huge boost for Cheshire East schools

Cheshire East Council is working with 19 schools and children centres on capital programmes aimed at improving the quality of buildings, to promote the best learning environments for all young people.

Schools in Cheshire East will benefit from a £1m boost aimed at improving the environments in which children in the borough are educated.

Using a Department for Education capital grant allocation, the council has encouraged maintained schools to carefully consider their current building infrastructure and bid to the council for this funding. Schools have been encouraged to draw upon their own school funds to supplement this grant so that as many schools as possible can benefit.

In previous successful schemes, schools have targeted the remodelling of existing environments to create new learning spaces, improved accessibility for disabled learners, as well as providing new specialist surroundings to enhance the curriculum.

The grant funding can also be used to address repairs to existing defects as well as providing ongoing maintenance to keep buildings in good condition.

At a time when the shortage of funding for schools is often highlighted, this initiative shows the council’s commitment to maximising the return on capital grants. It also illustrates the positive relationships with schools, as it draws on the expertise of council staff, and the schools themselves to effectively manage this programme.

Councillor George Hayes, cabinet member for children and families said: “We all want the best learning environments for our children to achieve and develop to their full potential and this scheme illustrates how best to maximise the capital resources available to achieve that.

“I look forward to visiting schools after the summer break to see these new resources in place and to see learners and staff benefiting from this investment.

“This council is fully committed to providing sufficient school places and a variety of projects are underway.

“The future of school improvement has to be through highly effective collaboration and this programme illustrates how school leaders, governors and local authority teams can successfully combine their skills and resources to really make a difference for young people.’’

Lyndsey Atkins, headteacher at Goostrey Community Primary School, said: “We are delighted to be having a music room built. It will enable our music specialists to facilitate greater learning opportunities, allowing pupils to develop their talents and skills in a dedicated space.  We are looking forward to using it next term and seeing the many benefits it will undoubtedly bring.”

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