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Transforming schools and inspiring learning - An introduction to Building Schools for the Future

Update - 1 September 2010

Hertfordshire County Council has announced the appointment of Balfour Beatty Education as its Selected Bidder to deliver the rebuilding and remodelling of Marriotts, Lonsdale and Nobel schools in Stevenage.

Richard Thake, Executive Member for Education, has welcomed the appointment: "Now that we have chosen the company we wish to take forward these projects, work can progress on drawing up the necessary contracts with a view to building work starting at the Marriotts site in February 2011. This is an important development which will lead to real improvements for pupils at the three schools and the wider Stevenage community."

In what was formerly part of the Building Schools for The Future programme, Marriotts, a community secondary school, will be rebuilt, expanding from six to eight forms of entry on its existing site. Marriotts will be co-located with Lonsdale School, which is an all age, physical and neurological impairment special school. The two schools will benefit from sharing state-of-the art facilities and resources, including a new £45 million Private Finance Initiative (PFI) building. The local community in Stevenage will also be able to enjoy an extensive community sports facility, which is part of the building project.

The Nobel scheme involves the partial remodelling of the existing buildings and substantial new building work to provide an expanded eight forms of entry secondary school on the existing site. This is an increase of thirty pupils per year group. The Stevenage Music and Arts Centre will be situated on the same site. The works will be carried out under a design and build contract - which means that the same company will be responsible for both the initial design and completion of the Nobel scheme.

Update - 6 July 2010

The Department for Education yesterday announced a major review of the schools capital investment programme.

In Hertfordshire, this substantially affects proposals for BSF-funded investment in secondary schools in Stevenage. Three school projects in Stevenage may still go ahead to the current timetable, but these are subject to the outcome of further discussions between Hertfordshire County Council and the Department for Eduction. These are Lonsdale School, Marriotts School, and the Nobel School.
However, as part of the review, the following school projects are described by DfE as having been stopped: Barnwell School, Greenside School, John Henry Newman RC School, Stevenage Education Support Centre, The Barclay School, The Thomas Alleyne School, and The Valley School.
The announcement mainly covers the BSF programme. Rebuilding and refurbishment projects in schools may still go ahead under other future capital investment programmes.

The county council will be considering further what options are available for dealing with the continuing need for new capital investment in Stevenage as and when DfE announces what new funding will be available from 2011/12 onwards.

Whilst many Academy projects are also subject to review nationally, the DfE statement confirms that proposals for new building projects for the Francis Coombe Academy and the Bushey Academy, both in Watford, will be unaffected.

Executive member for Education and Skills, Councillor Richard Thake said: "While it is disappointing that some of Hertfordshire's BSF plans will not be able to proceed at this time, I recognise that the country cannot borrow its way out of debt and that a period of retrenchment is essential in the national interest.
"The County Council will engage with partners to ensure that a full part is played in informing the coming review and we will highlight the immense pressures that the burgeoning growth in demand for school places is putting on Stevenage and the County as a whole".

Welcome to Hertfordshire's Building Schools for the Future (BSF) - the biggest single government investment in improving school buildings for over 50 years. The aim is to rebuild or renew every secondary school in England over a 10-15 year period. The funding is in waves, and Stevenage has been chosen as the first area in Hertfordshire to benefit. Some £210 million will be used to rebuild or refurbish the town's secondary and secondary age special schools.

It is more than just buildings - BSF is a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform the learning experience of Hertfordshire children and young people to benefit their futures. Our programme aspires to be ambitious and farsighted to include:

  • a broad range of high quality curriculum options
  • state of the art ICT provision
  • future proofed buildings and classrooms which can adapt to a variety of usage
  • extensive community use

To contact a member of the BSF team please call 01992 555845 or email the BSF Programme Director at bsf@hertfordshire.gov.uk

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