Cash drought for our schools

SCHOOLS in the Cheddar area have at least a 10-year wait before Government cash will be available to spend on improvements. Schools across the country are set to have money lavished on rebuilding and improving them after the Government started its Buildin

SCHOOLS in the Cheddar area have at least a 10-year wait before Government cash will be available to spend on improvements.Schools across the country are set to have money lavished on rebuilding and improving them after the Government started its Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme.But schools such as The Kings of Wessex and Hugh Sexey have plummeted down the pecking order and are unlikely to get access to the multi-million pound pot of cash for at least 10 years.The Government has asked Somerset County Council to prioritise which schools should have money spent on them. The authority has picked all four Bridgwater secondary schools as its first choice, and has bid for between £80million and £150million to be spent on them.If the council's funding bid for the Bridgwater project is successful, work on updating other Somerset schools could start 10 years from now.Schools in the Cheddar area are unlikely to have so much cash spent on them. The county council wants to completely rebuild half the schools in the district and 'remodel' or make minor improvements to the rest.Because Cheddar area schools are already of quite a high standard, they are only likely to get money for minor work, rather than a major rebuilding project.The Government describes the BSF scheme as 'not just a simple building programme but is set to transform the way secondary schools function, developing buildings for the 21st Century with learning to match'.County Councillor Gloria Cawood, who is responsible for education, said: "We want all Somerset schools to inspire learning and achievement and become the heart of a community and a source of great pride."Through BSF, we aim to rebuild 50 per cent of schools, 35 per cent will be remodelled and 15 per cent will have minor works. This will ensure that all Somerset schools can offer a learning environment and education fit for the 21st century.


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