Education funding ‘good news’ for Workington
Last updated at 19:47, Thursday, 31 May 2012
The head of Workington’s Southfield Technology College this week said exciting times lay ahead for education in the town thanks to new Government funding to improve two secondary schools.
The Government last week announced that a joint bid for cash to improve both Southfield and Stainburn School had been accepted as part of a £2 billion national scheme.
The Department for Education has not yet said how much funding the two schools will get.
Until that is revealed Cumbria County Council will not know whether it is possible to build a proposed single new merged school in Workington or to use the cash to fund improvements to the existing Southfield and Stainburn sites.
Southfield headteacher Lynda Dalkin said that whatever investment was on its way was a welcome boost for education in the town.
Mrs Dalkin said: “There’s an excitement and a buzz for the town.
“It is good news for the children of the town and it’s good news for the community.
“Investment in education for young people will pay dividends. We are very lucky.”
The schools are among 261 nationally to get cash under a new Priority School Building Programme.
It comes after the town missed out on earlier funding towards a single new merged secondary school to replace Southfield and Stainburn two years ago.
That funding, under the previous Building Schools for the Future programme, was scrapped by the new coalition government.
Mrs Dalkin added: “The ideal is a new school, because then there’s something for everybody.
“We have got three good secondary schools to be proud of and any refurbishment is not to be sniffed at.
“We have got old schools that a refurbishment would make a huge difference to.”
The joint funding is the latest boost to the schools, which already share a sixth form and having started working more closed together in recent years.
Mrs Dalkin said: “School-to-school partnership is seen very favourably by this government and without a doubt we learn from each other all the time.
“Any school-to-school partnership is to be valued.”
Chris McGrath, headteacher of Stainburn, last week welcomed the funding.
He said: “I am sure the money will be wisely invested in improved facilities which improve the chances of the young people of Workington.”
A private finance initiative will fund any work.
First published at 19:23, Thursday, 31 May 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Another PFI inititive. At least the kids will end up paying for it, many times over, if they stick around West Cumbria long enough.
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