The Council has today submitted a bid / expression of interest for six schools to the Government’s Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP). The PSBP is a large stream of money that totals £2 billion. The aim of the PSBP programme is to fund major rebuilding and refurbishment projects to address the needs of schools in the very worst condition. This is a national programme which runs from 2015 to 2021.
As you would expect, the Government has set very strict criteria for applying for the PSBP programme, with funding only available for schools which need to be either completely rebuilt or where a building needs major refurbishment works.
The Council commissioned surveys to identify whether or not the schools met the criteria. Following consideration of these reports and previous information on schools’ condition held by the Council, six schools were identified as meeting the criteria for submissions for funding. Schemes at a further seven schools were initially considered but did not meet the Government’s criteria for funding. It might seem unfair, but these are the rules that have been set.
The six schools which have been submitted are:
Helston – three schemes have been proposed.
- Replacing C Block
- replacing C block and E Block
- and a whole school replacement
Humphrey Davey School –
- replacement of Block 2, general teaching
Hayle Community College –
- Block 1, main block / general teaching
- Block 6 – general teaching and Sports Hall
- Science, DT and Art Block
- replacement of 6 x double Elliot buildings to permanent accommodation.
Biscovey Infants –
- main block roof replacement
As the Portfolio Holder I am really pleased these schools have been submitted. The total amount of funding the Council is seeking £40m for these six schools. However, any final value of schemes will be decided by the Education Funding Agency (EFA).
For Helston, I am not only pleased as the Portfolio Holder, but also as one of the local Councillors to see three schemes being put forward to the PSBP programme. I like many others, was extremely disappointed that previous plans to replace Helston College C-Block could not be taken forward because there was no funding. I did say I would do everything with my powers for Helston College. Though, in my role as Portfolio Holder, it cannot just be about Helston, but other schools who are in a similar to that of Helston.
I am as well as the Council is hopeful that the Education Funding Agency and the Government will consider all the schemes put forward by Cornwall Council. The decision on the submission is expected sometime in December. Let’s hope all six schools get this much-needed funding.