Council revises spending for school improvements
across Hampshire will see new classrooms, refurbishments and improved car parking arrangements as part of a £33.2 million funding boost.
Hampshire County Council has broadened its school expansion programme to meet the growing demand for primary school places.
Last Friday, Hampshire’s executive lead member for children’s services, Councillor Keith Mans, approved a revised children’s services capital programme for 2014/15.
He said the changes were “in keeping with the county council’s strategic aims in terms of delivering high quality, cost effective public services and working with communities to enhance local services”.
As part of the amended programme, a new temporary classroom will be built at Talavera Infant School, following pressure on school places in Aldershot.
The current capacity of this school is 270, with a forecast number of 313 on roll by 2015.
Improved car parking arrangements will also be made at Bentley Primary School, near Farnham.
The funding has come about as a result of the council reviewing its overall £765m three-year programme to make every pound go further, maximising the opportunities to lever further government and private sector funding where possible.
The updated programme will also include additional improvement works and the refurbishment and expansion of 30 pre-school and nursery accommodation to support the implementation of early education for two-yearolds from lower income households.
Historically, capital grant allocations to local authorities included funding for the Schools Access Initiative (AIS) to pay for access improvements to mainstream schools, principally to meet individual pupils’ needs.
This specific funding stream has now ceased but the need for such adaptations will continue, both at a pupilled and strategic level.
As a result of last week’s decision, £246,000 of the 2013/14 AIS allocation has been carried forward for the re-programming of various projects.