Grant success for primary school

Alderley Edge Primary Community Primary School is one of 19 schools and children centres in the Borough to benefit from a grant aimed at improving the environment in which children are educated.

Using a £1m capital grant allocation from the Department for Education, Cheshire East Council encouraged maintained schools to carefully consider their current building infrastructure and bid to the council for this funding.

In previous schemes, schools have targeted the remodelling of existing environments to create new learning spaces, improved accessibility for disabled learners, as well as providing new specialist surroundings to enhance the curriculum.

The grant funding can also be used to address repairs to existing defects as well as providing ongoing maintenance to keep buildings in good condition and schools have been encouraged to draw upon their own school funds to supplement this grant so that as many schools as possible can benefit.

Alderley Edge Primary Community Primary School has succeeded in securing a grant of £57,235 to enable them to upgrade the old hall area, which is expected to cost £63,235.

Mr Chris Perry, head teacher at Alderley Edge Community Primary School said "I was delighted to hear a few weeks ago that we were one of 19 schools in Cheshire East to successfully bid for the capital programme aimed at improving the quality of buildings. This was especially important to a school like ours which dates from 1854 as it will definitely improve and enhance the learning environment for all our children.

"We received a grant of £57,235 towards upgrading the old hall area enabling us to create some small and medium sized learning zones that will be accessible to all so allowing us to support children's learning. We work very closely with teaching and support staff to ensure that all children make excellent progress and these 'quiet' rooms will enable individual and small group work to take place, in a quality and quiet environment, throughout the day.

"These rooms will be used not only to support learning in the core subjects but also extend our ability to provide quality learning spaces for phonics, reading, extension groups for advanced learners plus provide areas for meeting the needs of those children in our school with disability who require input from speech and language therapists, physiotherapists and paediatric occupational therapists."

Mr Perry added "For those children in school with a high level of need the learning and therapy spaces will also be used for multidisciplinary meetings and children's assessments (e.g. for new equipment from IT to mobility equipment) so that children and staff can stay on site so reducing the need to travel to meetings or therapy sessions at other settings such as hospitals or children's settings. This will increase their learning and teaching time.

"In support of this work we have drawn down £6,000 from our capital maintenance budget to ensure this work goes ahead and provide quality learning resources and furniture in these rooms.

"We are extremely grateful to Cheshire East Council for this cash injection to the internal fabric of the school. It will certainly help make this 19th century hall space fit for children's needs in the 21st century."

Councillor George Hayes, cabinet member for children and families said: "We all want the best learning environments for our children to achieve and develop to their full potential and this scheme illustrates how best to maximise the capital resources available to achieve that.

"I look forward to visiting schools after the summer break to see these new resources in place and to see learners and staff benefiting from this investment.

"This council is fully committed to providing sufficient school places and a variety of projects are underway.

"The future of school improvement has to be through highly effective collaboration and this programme illustrates how school leaders, governors and local authority teams can successfully combine their skills and resources to really make a difference for young people.''

Two Wilmslow schools are also among the 19 schools and children centres to benefit from a grant.

St Anne's Fulshaw has succeeded in securing a grant of £11,749 to enable them to provide a safe entrance area to the school whilst Wilmslow High School has been allocated £97,464. This money will be used to create a secure outdoor dining space which is expected to cost £107,464.

Photo shows that work is already underway in the school's hall.

Alderley Edge Community Primary School, Cheshire East Council