Warwickshire County Council has approved the addition of £15,694,411 to the Education Capital Programme to deliver a range of capital schemes at primary and secondary schools across the region.
The funding will boost school provision to meet the needs of the county ‘s growing population.
Since 2015, secondary school numbers have grown considerably as larger cohorts transfer from primary school, with numbers expected to peak in September 2022 to correspond with the Reception peak seven years earlier.
The impact of housing development across the county will require the expansion of existing education provision and the introduction of new provision to meet the expected pressures on early years, primary and secondary school places and the provision for learners with special educational needs and disabilities.
Just over the half the £15,694,411 is relevant funding received from developers as part of their planning commitments. To ensure school places are available when needed it is sometimes necessary to temporarily fund capital spend from the DfE Capital Grant in advance of the relevant developer contributions for a project being received.
Once the developer contributions are received the DfE Grant funding can be released back into the capital programme. £7,500,796 of grant funding has recently been released in this way.
Cllr Colin Hayfield, Portfolio Holder for Education and Learning said:
“With the funding allocated to our capital programme, we are in a better position to address the increased demand that we have in the county. Population growth is putting additional pressure on our schools and this funding will enable us to meet the need for additional places in schools. The increasing number of children in schools will also see an increase in young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). We want to be able to provide for these young people in our own schools wherever possible. A flexible allocation to allow us to make modifications to existing schools so that they are fit for purpose for children with disabilities will be an invaluable additional resource, keeping as many of our children as possible in Warwickshire to receive their education.
“We work hard with our developers to ensure contributions due are paid, to the benefit of everyone in our community.”