Massive revamp cash boost for two Workington schools
Last updated at 19:47, Thursday, 24 May 2012
Workington's Stainburn School and Southfield Technology College are set to be revamped under a £2 billion government scheme.
The schools are among 261 to get government funding under the new Priority School Building Programme.
The Department for Education has not revealed how much money the town’s schools will get for their joint bid.
Under the previous £61.5 million Building Schools for the Future scheme, it was proposed that Stainburn and Southfield schools should merge to form a single new school, but those plans were scrapped by the new coalition government.
Last night, the Government revealed the new programme.
It is not known how much cash West Cumbria will receive.
The county council said it did not know if it would be able to build a new school or if the money would fund improvements to the existing schools.
Stainburn and Southfield have both been hit by falling pupil numbers, which led to previous merger plans.
Chris McGrath, Stainburn head, said: “I’m sure the money will be wisely invested in improved facilities which improve the chances of the young people of Workington.”
Lynda Dalkin, Southfield headteacher, was unavailable for comment.
Workington MP Tony Cunningham said: “I’m very pleased that work at Southfield and Stainburn is going ahead but disappointed that the original scheme has been watered down hugely.”
A county council spokesman said: “We welcome the announcement from the Department for Education but are disappointed that not all schools the council put forward have been successful.
“At the moment we have no further information. We await contact from the Education Funding Agency to begin more detailed discussions.”
Stainburn and Southfield were two of six schools put forward by the council which were successful in the funding round.
Mayfield School in Whitehaven missed out on funding.
Nationwide, 587 schools applied to the programme and 261 were successful.
Forty-two schools – those in the worst conditions and successful special schools – will have work started straight away using capital grants but the Workington schools will have to use the private finance initiative to fund work.
Netherhall School in Maryport, due for £20 million of rebuilding work under Building Schools for the Future, was not part of the county council’s latest bid.
First published at 19:22, Thursday, 24 May 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
I agree with J M Perkins regarding the lack of opportunities for students to study more practical subjects. I am a business owner and also have a 16yr old son who wished to take an apprenticeship in joinery.The uphill struggle that we have encountered with the school and connexions(old careers service) who dont seem to support pupils wishing to have a more practical vocation has been shocking. At every opportunity my son was asked to consider other vocations...so we arranged everything ourselves.Its hard enough for school leavers without the supposedly careers service making things harder.
Being a West Cumbrian born & bred and having two grand children at one of the schools concerned I always keep an eye on all things West Cumbrian.
I do trust that if and when they revamp or rebuild the schools they consider more Vocational subjects such as Woodwork, Metalwork, Car Mechanics and Basic Electrics for the students who are more practical to give them a grounding for apprenticeships. There will always be need for Joiners, Kitchen Fitters, Electricians, Plumbers, Fitters & Mechanics.
We also of course need the theory merchants who aspire to order us about and generally make a mess of our Education and Country due to their lack of practical experience even though they may be well educated and mean well.
We should not forget that our biggest trading partners are in Europe, i. e. France and Germany, so maybe languages should play a part.
There are other emerging countries but let us not forget English is the Business Language of choice. Language,if taught should be of use and this is something Business and Government should decide.
However the education in West Cumbria goes I wish them well, for they are our future.
IF MY OLD FRIEND BILL McCREADY still puts pen to paper, what are your views.