Backing for four new schools and hundreds more pupil places
PUBLISHED: 15:13 24 July 2020 | UPDATED: 08:43 28 July 2020
Multi-million pound plans to build another four new schools in Norfolk and expand four others by 2025 are set to get the go-ahead.
County Council cabinet members are being asked at a meeting on Monday, August 3 to agree proposals that would create hundreds of new school places in areas that are set to see housing growth.
The eight new projects would be part of its long term school building investment programme, worth over £169m, which is designed to support growing communities by building new schools and extending existing ones.
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New schools will include North Norwich High School, a 1,000 place secondary school on a site yet to be confirmed, with construction earmarked to start in 2024.
Two new 420-place primary schools in Poringland, on a site yet to be confirmed, and Cringleford, as part of a housing development, are also set to be given backing with work pencilled in to start in 2023.
And it is hoped work on a new primary school in Thetford with 420 additional places on a site within a new housing development will begin in 2025.
John Fisher, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We want all children to have access to good quality education and to be able to get a school place close to where they live.
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“Our school building programme is designed to deliver that. Since it started we have created thousands of additional school places, particularly in areas where there is housing development, and we have hundreds more in the pipeline.
“That means, more of Norfolk’s children are now learning in all through primary schools and in modern classrooms with up-to-the-minute facilities with many more set to benefit in the future.
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“These additional eight school building projects will help us continue to support our growing communities by delivering the critical school infrastructure that our youngest residents need.”
Work is due to start next year on expanding Costessey Ormiston Victory Academy to 1,800 places in total; while Sprowston High Academy is also being expanded to provide as yet unspecified number of additional places.
Meanwhile both Holt Primary and Blofield Primary will be relocated to new sites and expanded to 420 places.
In 2019-2020, the county council oversaw £58m-worth of school building projects which included schemes under its £120m investment plan to transform special education by creating an additional 500 specialist school places across the county.
Cllr Mike Smith-Clare, Labour spokesman for people and communities and lead for children and young people, said commitments to helping children achieve their “hopes and ambitions” rang hollow after Conservative councillors recently opposed a motion to supply an initial 10,000 laptops to children.
He said: “A good quality education cannot be guaranteed by a building alone - and as we’ve seen during the recent pandemic, learning must be remotely accessible too.”
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