Coun­cil re­vises spend­ing for school im­prove­ments

Aldershot News & Mail - - NEWS -

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.

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