New classroom approved for school

Lympstone Primary School is celebrating after county chiefs gave its desperately needed new classroom the go-ahead, with more investment to come.

The new temporary classroom, which will be built on the school’s playground, will be ready for pupils in September, and must be replaced with a permanent classroom within 18 months.

Currently, the school has two of its classes sharing one room – an arrangement described in a planning report as “cramped and over-crowded, with increased risk of cross infection”.

Headteacher Tony Priest said: “This will make a real difference to the quality of education that children in the school will receive.

“We’ve managed this year with 50 children in a larger classroom, and I’m grateful for the attitude and skills of teachers, pupils and parents in making the best of that, but it’s not a tenable position.”

County planners insisted on the 18-month time limit for the classroom, to force through investment for the new permanent build on the neighbouring Church Room site.

Mr Priest said he is “delighted” at this planned investment, which is long overdue.

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He said: “I’m very heartened that there will be some significant investment in our school, which has grown in the last 10 years from 98 pupils to 192 pupils with no investment in that time.

“I understand Devon County Council will be looking to invest a six figure sum to put something on [the Church Room site] in the first instance, with a phase two project to follow.”

County councillors who supported the school’s plans said they were concerned by its current crowded state.

Cllr Eileen Wragg said: “What we should be concentrating on is the children’s welfare, and I do hope the authority takes this new build on as a high priority, because it’s very, very badly needed.”