School may be in line for cash

THETFORD'S Rosemary Musker High School could be in line for a chunk of cash as part of a �700m project to rebuild or revamp every high and special needs school in the county, it has emerged.

THETFORD'S Rosemary Musker High School could be in line for a chunk of cash as part of a �700m project to rebuild or revamp every high and special needs school in the county, it has emerged.

It is one of three Norfolk high schools on the substitutes' bench for rebuilds of up to 70pc.

The others are Marshland High at West Walton and King Edward VII High at King's Lynn, both in west Norfolk.

The news came as Norfolk County Council revealed it was among the front-runners for the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, which aims to overhaul every English high school in the years to come.


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Of the 70 local authorities battling to be first in the future phases of BSF, the government has preliminarily ranked Norfolk fourth on the basis of factors including GCSE results, social deprivation and its ability to press on with the work.

Partnerships for Schools, the government quango overseeing BSF, will announce the results of the submissions by the end of July, with a final decision likely by the end of autumn 2009.

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If all goes to plan, Norfolk's initial project could be completed by March 2015, with six follow-up groupings of school rebuilds following in future years.

The initial project - costing more than �100m - includes the proposed academies at The Park High in King's Lynn, Charles Burrell at Thetford and Costessey High, plus work at Sewell Park College in Norwich, Marshland High at West Walton, Yarmouth High and a complete rebuild of Chapel Road Special School at Attleborough.

The costs are above the government guidelines and, because The Park High academy cannot be funded from a separate national pot for academies, Marshland High will have to drop into phase two.

However, a report to Norfolk County Council's cabinet on Tuesday said a second pot of academies money may soon become available, which could fund the schemes at Charles Burrell, Costessey and The Park.

If so, three other schools will be promoted and the alternative initial project list will be:

Marshland High - 50-70pc new build

Yarmouth High - 20-50pc

Chapel Road Special School - 100pc

Rosemary Musker High - 20-50pc

King Edward VII - 50-70pc

Sewell Park College - 0-20pc.

The council is making further moves to give Norfolk a headstart, including lining up an ICT contractor before the formation of the local education partnership that will manage the project - giving the firm earlier input into the building design process - and setting up a stakeholder group, including district councils and headteachers, to discuss the integration of sport and PE into the BSF programme.

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