Twenty New Schools For Norfolk?

Up to 20 new schools could be needed in Norfolk to cope with housing developments and population growth.

Members of Norfolk County Council are meeting today to discuss a long-term plan to create an additional 6,300 school places over the next 10 to 15 years.

A new secondary school will be needed in the north of Norwich, as well as new primary schools in Rackheath, Sprowston, Thetford and Attleborough.

They have also anticipated that primary schools will be needed in places such as Wymondham, Cringleford, Hethersett and Fakenham to cope with major housing developments and increases in the local population.

Members of Norfolk County Council’s Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Panel will hear that £72 million of funding is already available through government capital grant and developer contributions and the report sets out how that will be spent over the next four years.

More investment will be needed in the long-term to create the necessary school places, with the new schools bring fully or partly funded from contributions from house-builders.

Mick Castle, Cabinet Member for Education and Schools at Norfolk County Council, said:

“We have to ensure that there is a school place for every child in the county and this report highlights the significant planning that is taking place and the efforts that we are taking to maximise outside sources of funding to support education across the county.

“We have to ensure that school places are available as new housing becomes available or as the population in local areas increases - that is why we have recently built a new school at Cringleford and have created new places at several schools across the county, such as Costessey and Rackheath.

“We will also continue to bid for additional funding, where it may be available, to support urgent projects at existing schools. We have already been successful in securing investment for extra places at Chapel Road, which needs to be rebuilt to support the future needs of its pupils.”

Of the major development projects, 12 are already in the preparation stages.

After the council have considered today’s report, the proposal will form part of the councils overall capital spending for 2013-2017, which will be considered by Cabinet in the New Year.

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