Bath & North East Somerset Council has outlined an £18.3 million investment to improve school buildings and expand the number of primary school places across the district over the next five years.
As part of its budget proposals, announced this month, the Council has outlined plans to expand Castle Primary School in Keynsham, Bathwick St Mary Primary School in Bath, Whitchurch Primary School and St Nicholas Primary School in Radstock.
Funding will also be provided for additional temporary classrooms in the Midsomer Norton area and at St Saviour’s Junior School in Bath in order to meet a short-term ‘bulge’ in pupil numbers expected in the coming years. There will also be improvements at Bathampton, Swainswick and Clutton primary schools.
The new £18.3 million investment is in addition to the school improvement schemes already within the Council’s approved capital programme, which will see £10.2 million spent on facilities such as the new Abbot Alphege Primary School at Ensleigh, Bath, and a range of other school expansions and improvement projects across the district.
Councillor Michael Evans (Conservative, Midsomer Norton, North) Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “This investment in local primary schools will be welcome news for parents and families across Bath and North East Somerset, and demonstrates our commitment to improving local school facilities and increasing the number of primary school places where needed across the district.
“We are fortunate to have a large number of well-regarded and popular primary schools within Bath and North East Somerset, and the vast majority of parents are already able to access their first choice of primary school. However, by planning ahead and expanding primary schools where needed, we can ensure that local families continue to have a good range of options when it comes to choosing a primary school for their children.
“As well as creating more primary school provision where needed, some of this investment will also be used to modernise and improve existing facilities. We want local children to benefit from good quality facilities and this funding will help to ensure the young people attending these schools get the most out of their education.”
The majority of the investment (£15.2m) is being funded through Government grants, with the remainder being secured through Section 106 planning contributions from housing developers.
The new primary school at Somerdale in Keynsham is not included in the list of projects as this is being directly funded by the developers.