The Newark Academy, Nottinghamshire, hosted an official turf cutting ceremony last week (7 November 2014) to mark the start of the construction work to replace its old dilapidated school building.
The project is 1 of 15 in Nottinghamshire to get underway as part of the government’s £2.4 billion PSBP to rebuild or refurbish 261 of the schools in England in the worst condition.
Thanks to the PSBP, students attending The Newark Academy, a 1,320-capacity mixed secondary school with sixth form provision, are set to benefit from a new £15.5 million 3-storey ‘super block’. The new building will bring together the main school and sixth form provision (some of which was previously delivered off site) and provide specialist classrooms to deliver a wide-ranging curriculum. The rebuild also includes a new sports block to replace the shared community facility currently used and a new multi-use games area.
Schools Minister David Laws said:
The start of construction work at The Newark Academy School marks a key milestone for the Priority School Building Programme in Nottinghamshire and an exciting phase in the development of the school.
Delivering great new schools will help to build a stronger economy and a fairer society, so that every young person across the region can get on in life.
Vital building work is taking place at schools in the worst state across the country. We are making excellent progress with 14 school buildings complete and all 261 schools to be completed by the end of 2017.
Excited students and staff from the school were joined by council dignitaries, representatives from the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and the contractor, Kier, for a turf cutting ceremony to celebrate the start of work.
At the ceremony, Karine Jasper, Principal of The Newark Academy, said:
Today marks an important milestone on our journey to excellence at The Newark Academy. The building of our new school is a great boost, not just for the students and staff but for the community we serve.
This momentous investment in the town of Newark would not have been possible without the support of many - the voice of primary schools, parents and students, the local action groups, Nottinghamshire LA and Lincoln College Group, our sponsor.
Together we work hard to ensure that we deliver the very best learning and care, and soon we will have the building to match our drive to be the very best we can be.
Councillor John Peck, Nottinghamshire county council’s Committee Chairman for children and young people’s services, added:
I’m delighted that work is now underway at The Newark Academy and I’m sure everyone connected with the school - the staff, pupils, parents and the wider community - are excited about seeing the site take shape.
The new school will provide a wonderful learning environment for the children of Newark and it will be a proud day for everyone involved when it opens its doors in 2016.
Neil Pates, Managing Director of Kier Education, said:
We are delighted to be working with the Education Funding Agency to deliver the Newark Academy; a fantastic and efficiently designed lead project in this PSBP batch that will inspire and improve the opportunities available to young people throughout Nottinghamshire.
The work at Newark Academy is due for completion in early 2016. The school is 1 of 15 being rebuilt or refurbished by Kier across the region.
This government is determined to raise the standard of schools and the education they provide as part of its plan for education. The PSBP is building on the progress already made in delivering a more efficient, faster and less bureaucratic approach to building schools.
As of November 2014:
- 14 PSBP school buildings have opened in new buildings
- 59 schools are currently under construction
- all 261 schools are due for completion by the end of 2017 - 2 years earlier than originally planned
Given the success of the PSBP, the government has announced a second phase of the programme, worth around £2 billion. Applications are currently being considered and successful applicants will be confirmed by the end of the year.
Notes to editors
- The PSBP is a centrally managed programme set up to address the condition of the schools most in need of urgent repair. Through the PSBP, 261 schools will be rebuilt or have their condition needs met.
- Over the course of this parliament, the government is allocating £5 billion to local authorities to support the provision of new school places and £2.8 billion for the maintenance of the school estate to meet the needs of maintained schools and academies. Over the spending review period, the total capital made available for investment in schools in England will be about £18 billion.
- Given the success of the PSBP so far, in May the government announced a further £2 billion to address condition needs in some of the worst school buildings across the country. Applications are currently being considered and successful applicants will be confirmed by the end of the year.