£25.5M To Refurb Isle Of Wight Schools

The schools reorganisation project has reached another milestone after a building programme costing £25.5m was approved by the Isle of Wight Council's Cabinet.

At the meeting on Tuesday 12 April, cabinet members approved plans to create additional accommodation and refurbish existing school sites.

This is to ensure that there is sufficient and appropriate accommodation to meet the needs of pupils as a result of the school reorganisation and also support the provision of facilities for children and young people with autism spectrum disorder.

The programme, which is funded by a number of government grants along with local funding allocations, includes two brand new primary school buildings in Ryde and Ventnor, subject to planning consent being approved.

The council's schools reorganisation team has consulted with headteachers and governors to ensure the schools capital programme provides suitable accommodation that meets the needs of the pupils. Work on the first projects will commence in the summer term. 

Cllr David Pugh, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council with responsibility for schools reorganisation, said:

"The council is committed to raising education standards in all schools and believes that the quality of school premises play a key part in achieving this aim. This investment will ensure that our buildings are fit-for-purpose for the new age ranges they will be catering for.

"We are also looking to secure as much of the works as possible through Island firms, as we have already done through the Cowes One School Pathfinder project.

"The capital investment in the autism spectrum disorder units will help provide appropriate and dedicated facilities for autistic children in two primary and two secondary school settings. This commitment will be reflected in the forthcoming review of support for children with special educational needs and disabilities."

At the meeting Cllr Pugh also confirmed that a further £467,000 is to be spent by the Anglican and Catholic diocesan education bodies in providing additional accommodation and resources for church primary schools in Brighstone, Newport, Yarmouth and East Cowes (Holy Cross).