Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

GOOD AND BAD DAY AT SCHOOLS; Some Win Funding for Building Work - While Others Are Left with Nothing

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

GOOD AND BAD DAY AT SCHOOLS; Some Win Funding for Building Work - While Others Are Left with Nothing

Article excerpt

CRUMBLING schools are set to get an injection of cash from the Government. KRYSTA EAVES looks at the schools on Teesside which won or lost out on funding.

NINE schools on Teesside have been successful in bidding for funding under a pounds 2bn Government scheme - but others have lost out on a cut of the cash.

As reported yesterday, four schools in Stockton, two in Redcar and Cleveland and three in Hartlepool will now get funding - although the amounts they will each receive is not yet known.

But among those to miss out was Westgarth Primary School in Marske, which teaches 350 pupils.

Headteacher Neil Burton said: "I'm disappointed for the children and the families of Marske - but I'm not bitter and twisted.

"It just means that there are other schools in greater need than ours."

The school, which dates back to the 1960s has flat roofs and internal drains. That, combined with rusting pipes and leaking roofs, means the school often suffers from flooding, Mr Burton said.

He added that there was asbestos under the floor which causes problems when repairs need to be undertaken.

"I've been head for 15 years," Mr Burton said.

"In that time, the school has been near the top of lists for either a new-build through the local authority or through a Government scheme. Successive governments have spent a fortune on architects and planning - but it always seems we miss out."

Nunthorpe School also failed to get a share of the cash.

Headteacher Debbie Clinton, pictured far right with the school, said: "We understand the decision in terms of there are being schools, such as Laurence Jackson, in much need - but we desperately need a new school."

The teacher added that, when it rains, buckets need to be placed around the school to catch leaks.

And she said that disabled pupils couldn't enrol as the school is not equipped with lifts.

However, Mrs Clinton said that, even if the school had been given the funding, it wasn't certain work would go ahead as there may have been concerns about the way the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) was implemented.

Ian Swales, the Liberal Democrat MP for Redcar, said he was "disappointed" for Nunthorpe and Westgarth missed out, but added he was "pleased" the Coalition Government was supporting Handale and Laurence Jackson.

"This time these two schools were simply higher up the list of need than others," he said.

"Times are tight, so to receive money to help improve education in the area is always great to hear.'' James Wharton, Conservative MP for Stockton South also welcomed the news, recalling that he took Education Secretary Michael Gove on a tour round Ian Ramsey School last year.

"Ian Ramsey has needed work doing for years and this is really welcome news," said Mr Wharton. …

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