School expansion due to go ahead despite grant cut
Langley Green Primary School will still get its promised expansion despite a £5m cut to West Sussex County Council’s spending grant.
The council is currently undergoing a programme to improve and expand schools in the county including Langley Green.
The council usually receives a Capital Spending Grant from the Department of Education to help fund projects such as these.
It will now have around £5m less than anticipated over the next two years because of a reduction in its grant.
Langley Green Primary School will increase from 45 pupils per year group to 60 as part of the expansion.
Cllr Michael Brown, county council Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said the programme would go ahead without any changes and ruled out having to borrow the money at this stage.
He said: “I am confident we will balance the books at the end of the two years through sound financial management, and taking advantage of any under-spending on projects.
“We are also achieving some very good results from our sales of surplus land and property, money which is ploughed back into capital improvements.
“The education capital programme is very important, particular as we are coping with a big increase in pupil numbers.”
The capital programme for 2013/14 includes a major improvement project of £14m for the Millais School in Horsham, which is to address structurally failing buildings.
The programme also includes £93.4m for primary and secondary ‘basic needs,’ which includes a £3m expansion of Langley Green.
‘Basic needs’ means allowing schools to expand and improve to help deal with the rising pupil numbers.
The decision was welcomed by Cllr Peter Griffiths, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Schools.
Langley’s Green’s expansion is due to be completed in September 2014.
The Department for Education has announced a grant pot of just under £1billion for education authorities to bid against for high basic need pressures.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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