Winslow special school forges ahead with rebuild plans

Furze Down School in Winslow.'100311M-B187
Furze Down School in Winslow.'100311M-B187

PLANS for the £8.7 million rebuild of Furze Down school are pressing ahead, with architects already appointed and a site meeting organised.

Headteacher of the special needs school, Sue Collins, told the Advertiser a meeting has been arranged for August 8 to discuss the development.

Milton Keynes-based practice PDD Architects have been awarded the contract to rebuild the school, and the firm is due to meet on site with the headteacher and deputy, governors and Bucks County Council representatives.

The school, which gained an Outstanding rating from Ofsted following its latest inspection in 2009, suffered a bitter blow in May last year, when it learned it would no longer receive money it had been promised for a rebuild under the Building Schools For The Future programme, after an allocation of £80 million for Bucks was withdrawn following a review by the new government.

But as the school broke up for the summer holidays last week, the county council broke the news that it would be able fund the rebuild after all, after its cabinet had approved a new capital programme.

Mrs Collins said she was delighted and thanked the county council for its support.

She said: “Against a background of uncertainty and cutbacks, there has been overwhelming support for this school. I would like to thank colleagues within the local authority for putting their trust in this school and having confidence in my leadership.

“I do not intend to disappoint children, parents, staff and governors, or the local authority, in constructing this vision and bringing it to reality.”

Chair of governors Pat Caulfield said: “All the governors are delighted.”

Mike Appleyard, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “These young people deserve to learn in a environment that fully meets their needs and the dedicated staff need to work in buildings that no longer impede learning.

“The new school will help staff and pupils build on the great success they have already achieved.”

The new school is due to be up and running by March 2014.