Press release

Priority school building programme: rugby star reopens school

New start for Wyvern College thanks to government’s flagship £4.4 billion rebuilding programme.

England rugby star Mike Brown has officially reopened his former school in Salisbury after it was transformed through the government’s flagship rebuilding programme.

The Harlequins’ full back unveiled a plaque at a ceremony to mark the reopening of Wyvern College in a state-of-the-art new building following £9.3 million of construction work.

Wyvern College, an all-boys secondary school in Laverstock, is 1 of 16 schools across the South West to be rebuilt through 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 construction work, the school now benefits from new, modern classrooms, as well as a refurbished sports block and science facilities. There are also additional pupil places, which comes with help from Wiltshire county council investment.

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 Wyvern College is a key milestone for the priority school building programme in the South West.

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.

Paul German, Headteacher of Wyvern College, said:

Wyvern pupils and staff are delighted to have moved into fantastic, purpose built, 21st-century accommodation. The completion of this project marks the culmination of many years of hope and aspiration alongside the dedicated hard work of a large group of people.

For many years, pupils and staff have endured dilapidated and inadequate accommodation. This new build marks a huge investment in our school, the future and for boys’ education in Salisbury. Thanks to drive, determination and vision, with the expertise of Kier Group, we have a wonderful legacy and can face the future with huge confidence.

Trevor White, Operations Director of Kier, said:

Working on Wyvern College has been a challenging but very enjoyable project and it will offer a first-class learning environment for pupils. We have a wealth of experience in delivering educational facilities across the UK and we’re looking forward to working on further projects throughout the programme to provide much-needed additional school places.

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 the 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

  1. The priority school building programme was established in 2011. A total of 260 schools will have their condition needs addressed through the first phase of the programme.
  2. Thanks to decisions which have been taken to improve efficiency and reduce waste, significant work on those projects is already underway. In November, 11 buildings are re-opening through PSBP thanks to almost £100 million of construction work, bringing the total number to have been re-opened through the first phase of PSBP to 60. 3.Construction contracts have been signed for 182 schools and all other schools are at various stages of design development.
  3. 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.

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