Millions of pounds of investment for Somerset schools

Nearly £20million of capital investment has been agreed to build, expand and renew Somerset schools and settings for young children in 2015-16.

Somerset County Council will commit £6.5million for a new primary school in Yeovil, over £6.5million for new classrooms at existing schools, and £5million for schools’ and children’s centres structural repairs and maintenance next financial year.

£1million will also be spent providing Early Years places for 2 year-olds.

A new classroom for Taunton’s Selworthy Special School is on the action plan, agreed earlier this month, as are new classrooms to increase primary pupil capacity in Bridgwater, Taunton and Yeovil. Discussions are on-going with schools potentially affected and further detail will be announced later.

A substantial capital repairs and maintenance programme has been approved to ensure that buildings remain in use, with 90 schools benefitting from funding to undertake high priority works. These include replacement roofs, windows and doors, replacement boilers and heating systems, structural repairs, and the resurfacing of external play spaces.

A further allocation of funds will enable a number of mainstream schools to be adapted to enable pupils with disabilities to attend their local school.

The bulk of schools’ capital funding comes from a Central Government grant, with the remainder provided by Somerset County Council.

Julia Ridge, Strategic Manager at Somerset County Council, said: “I am very pleased that we have been able to commit this capital funding to develop, expand and improve Somerset schools and Early Years settings, in addition to the grant from the Department for Education.

“Somerset County Council continues to embrace its duty to families within the county in providing school places to those who ask for them, and ensuring that children are schooled in buildings which support their education and development.”