£2.7m boost for Exmouth primary schools

PUBLISHED: 11:27 09 November 2012

Archant

A multi-million-pound scheme to improve two Exmouth schools is set to be rubber-stamped by county chiefs next week.

Devon County Council’s cabinet will consider improvements at five county schools, including a £1.5million expansion of Withycombe Primary School, and £1.2million to be spent at Bassetts Farm Primary School.

The improvements will help provide extra school places, with Withycombe eventually expanding to 630 places, and Bassetts Farm to 420 places.

The first phase of the Withycombe scheme will see a new eight classroom block built, while Bassetts Farm will get four new classrooms and two group rooms.

Withycombe chair of governors Nickie Mallett said: “We are excited about our opportunity to improve our school. We hope that such investment will really help us to continue in our aspirations as an ‘excellent’ school.”

She said the eight-classroom block that would comprise the first phase of the scheme would allow the school to replace some old and tired classrooms.

Bassetts Farm headteacher, Sarah Bennett, said the school was always over subscribed and the expansion would mean it could take 60 children a year.

She said: “This is an exciting time for the school. The four new classrooms will enable us to free up an existing classroom to create a wonderful new library and research room. Later in the year we will ask the children for ideas for the new library.

“This as a very positive step for the school, helping us to update our learning environment and providing new opportunities for the children.”

Devon County Council’s cabinet member for education, Andrea Davis, said: “There has been a big rise in births in Devon and more people moving to the county with children. This has put pressure on school places, particularly in primary schools in Exeter and Exmouth.

“The county council has moved swiftly to ensure there are sufficient places for all these primary school children and that there will continue to be space as their numbers continue to grow.

“We have worked closely with our schools on these issues and I am very grateful to the heads and governors for their cooperation and support.

”We are making sure that the extra places are provided in good quality accommodation so that our children can thrive and learn to the utmost of their ability.”

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