A Kent primary school, which has benefited from a state-of-the-art building through the government’s flagship rebuilding programme, is officially reopening today (Wednesday 23 September).
Canterbury Primary School is one of 13 schools in Kent to be rebuilt through the first phase of the £4.4 billion priority school building programme (PSBP), which is transforming some of the most run-down schools in the country.
As a result of the £2.8 million rebuild, the school’s old buildings have been replaced with a new 2-storey building, including an improved hall, learning resource centre and bright teaching spaces.
The new building can also take twice as many pupils as the previous building, with an additional 210 places provided by joining up PSBP funding with basic need funding.
Schools Minister Lord Nash said:
Our investment in school buildings across the country is transforming the learning environment for tens of thousands of pupils and their teachers.
The reopening of Canterbury Primary School is a key milestone for the PSBP in Kent.
Ensuring all children have access to the best possible schools and facilities is just one part of our commitment to help all young people reach their potential regardless of their background. These buildings will provide modern, fit-for-purpose schools for pupils for many years to come.
Phil Karnavas, Executive Principal of The Canterbury Academy Trust, said:
The Canterbury Academy was pleased to be among the first schools to be chosen to benefit from the PSBP. We are delighted with our new school. It is a bright, spacious, modern building incorporating state-of-the-art IT which will enable our young children to really enjoy and achieve in their learning.
Ian Vickers, Regional Managing Director for Wates Construction, Home Counties and the East, said:
Wates Construction has worked closely with the Education Funding Agency and the teaching staff at Canterbury Primary School to ensure that the new school building addresses the individual needs of the pupils.
As a company, we have 40 years’ expertise in building inspirational learning environments which has resulted in a first-class new school for Canterbury.
Thanks to the PSBP, school buildings are being rebuilt faster and cheaper than those built under the previous school building initiative - building schools for the future (BSF). Under BSF, it took 3 years for construction work to begin. This was slashed to 1 year for the PSBP, with projects costing around a third less.
A total of 537 schools will benefit from construction through the 2 phases of the PSBP.
Notes to editors
PSBP was established in 2011. A total of 260 schools will have their condition needs met through the first phase of the programme.
Thanks to decisions which have been taken to improve efficiency and reduce waste, significant work on those projects is already under way. In September, 22 buildings are reopening through PSBP thanks to £160 million of construction work, bringing the total number to have been reopened through the first phase of PSBP to 49.
In May 2014, the government announced a further £2 billion for the second phase of the programme. A list of the 277 schools to benefit from the second phase of the PSBP was published on 9 February 2015.