Somerset school children have started the academic year boosted by a multi-million collection of school new builds and improvements.
These include the £8.5m Hazelbrook campus at Selworthy School and the new £7.3m Nerrols Primary school, both in Taunton, and between them creating 500 new school places.
The state-of-the-art new campus at Selworthy will offer 80-100 places for secondary age pupils with a wide range of Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities.
The development will help to ensure pupils can be educated close to their homes and communities, without needing to take long journeys to a school which can accommodate their needs.
Nerrols Primary School is a 420-place, 14-class primary, which boasts a 26-place nursery and will cater for the growing demand in school places as work continues on a planned 630-house development by Barratt and David Wilson Homes. Both facilities were built by contractor Willmott Dixon.
Elsewhere there has been a further £800k worth of expansion work at Milborne Port Primary school and St John’s Primary in Wellington.
Both schools have a new classroom extension, and Milborne Port Primary, parts of which date from the Victorian era, has had an ICT upgrade, part-funded by Somerset County Council.
Councillor Faye Purbrick, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education said: “We are totally committed to supporting schools across Somerset to provide the best possible education and outcomes for all our students across the county.
“Key to this goal is ensuring that we provide sufficient schools places, as locally as is possible, through our new or expanded school buildings programme. We are planning and investing now to meet their needs and the needs of our communities for generations to come.”
Mark Ruffett, Head Teacher at Selworthy said: “The Selworthy community is extremely grateful for this investment in our future. The impact of these fabulous facilities will be wide and long lasting for our learners and their families.”
Earlier this year the County Council’s work building and expanding schools garnered praise from the Government which held it up as a model of good practice for its efficiency and cost-effectiveness.