Posted: Tue 15th Mar 2016

Million Pound Extra To Improve School Facilities

This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 15th, 2016

More pupils will benefit from improved learning environments in the coming year to help them achieve better results and better careers. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

An extra one million pounds is to be invested in school projects in Swansea in 2016/17, over and above the multi-million pound 21st Century schools programme schemes. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillors meeting last week to formally approve council tax levels have agreed to provide the additional funding to address short term accommodation pressures and tackle pressing issues in classrooms and buildings. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It will go towards dealing with needs that fall outside of the Council’s annual structural maintenance programme but which do not meet the national criteria for inclusion as part of the 21st Century Schools Programme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It’s just one of the investments the Council is making in order to improve pupil attainment. The next financial year will also see revenue spending of more than £159m on schools and wider education provision for pupils. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Jen Raynor, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “The council has always said that as far as possible extra funding we receive from the Welsh Government, above and beyond our expectations, would be spent on schools and educating our children. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“This funding is in addition to the millions we provide to match-fund Welsh Government grants for major school schemes such as the new Lon Las Welsh medium primary school. It’s also in addition to general capital maintenance investment to keep schools safe, secure, heated and lit. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“As with all our school projects we will strive to ensure the investment brings added benefits to communities including training and jobs for local people.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Gethin Sutton, Vice Chair of the School Budget Forum has said head teachers particularly welcomed the extra money coming to schools to help support classroom teaching, the continuing school-building programme and extra investment to address capital investment needs facing schools. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In a letter to the council on behalf of the forum, he said: “Through working closely with the Authority schools have been better able to manage the significant pressures and increasing expectations placed upon them and to mitigate large-scale redundancies on the council. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Nevertheless, the impact of further real terms cuts proposed for 2016/17, presents an extremely challenging position for schools.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He added: “We recognise the importance the council places in education and their recognition of the significant achievements of our schools against a very challenging financial background for us and the council. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Our hope is that the council continues to invest in schools as much as possible in the years ahead so that the foundation for future excellence is not jeopardised.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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