School unveils plans for £5m new science block

PUBLISHED: 15:00 09 March 2016 | UPDATED: 12:00 10 March 2016

Churchill Academy new building

Churchill Academy new building

Archant

A high-flying North Somerset school is hoping to replace a ‘dilapidated’ 1950s building with a state-of-the-art science and technology block.

Churchill Academy and Sixth Form has lodged two bids under the Condition Improvement Fund – a pot of Government money dedicated to academies – for new facilities, at a total cost of £5million.

It also submitted its plans to North Somerset Council for consideration last week.

The first bid is for a new business studies and IT building and the second, a much larger bid, is for a new science laboratory and technology facility.

The school’s planning application to the council rests on whether it wins funding from the Government’s pot, as it looks to replace an outdated mock-Tudor building.

A school statement read: “Churchill Academy is continuing its quest to replace the tired and dilapidated 1950s Tudor building, which provides teaching and learning space for over 2,000 students over the course of their two-week timetable.

“Recent applications for the large capital Priority Schools Programme launched by the Department for Education were not successful, but the academy has continued its dialogue with senior officials within the Department of Education and the Education Funding Agency (EFA) with the unwavering support of the local MP, John Penrose, to ensure that the poor condition of the building is kept at the forefront of their minds.”

It represents another step forward for Churchill, which was awarded ‘outstanding’ status by schools watchdog Ofsted in September.

The school’s business manager Alan Neale said: “In September, two senior officials from the EFA visited the academy to see first-hand the condition of the building, with their observations echoing the views of the students and staff that the building is simply not in an acceptable state of repair.

“We are able to provide excellent educational results for the students, regardless of the conditions in which they have to operate within the main Tudor block; however the entire building simply needs to be rebuilt to provide teaching and learning environments that the students and staff deserve.”

The school has garnered support from Mr Penrose, despite recent unsuccessful funding bids.

It will learn the outcome of the most recent bids by March 31.

Headteacher Chris Hildrew, who was appointed in January, said: “We hope this process will provide students with a fantastic 21st century learning environment over the coming few years.”


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