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Thousands of pupils start 2016 in new buildings

Thirteen new buildings set to open in the new year through government school rebuilding programme

Posted by Stephanie Broad | January 06, 2016 | Bricks & mortar

Pupils across the country are set to start the new year in modern buildings thanks to the £4.4 billion priority school building programme (PSBP).

The latest schools will open following over £100 million of construction, with features including bright new classrooms, inspiring libraries and specialist arts facilities. 

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: “I am delighted to see this latest group of schools re-opening in outstanding new buildings - the staff, pupils and local community could not ask for a better start to the year.

“As the programme continues, I look forward to seeing even more schools reopening in modern buildings as we continue to deliver educational excellence everywhere.”

Camberwell Park School, a special school in Manchester, is one of those to reopen through the programme following £7 million of construction. 

The school, which previously suffered regular leaks and was persistently in need of repair, now has bigger, brighter classrooms, a modern music and drama room and a library which looks onto the school’s rainforest garden.

Headteacher Mary Isherwood said: “Since we heard news of our new building, we have been fully involved in the planning and preparation of the building to ensure that it meets the holistic needs of our pupils who all have special educational needs.

“Throughout the process staff, pupils, parents and carers, governors and members of the multi-agency team have shared their hopes, wishes, dreams for the new building, helping us to shape the vision. The new building is fabulous.”

The Grove School, a primary in Devon, received its new building following £4 million of work, giving it not only outstanding new facilities but also increasing its capacity from 210 to 315 pupils. 

Headteacher Hilary Priest said: “Everything is different about our new school building. Previously, we had a building which was falling apart, with leaking roofs and buckets everywhere to collect the water. Now we have a beautiful new facility designed for education today, with lovely large classrooms and state-of-the-art technology. Best of all, although the new building is completely different, it still feels like our old school.”

A total of 537 schools will benefit from construction through the two phases of the PSBP.

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