Over £200 million needed to improve county’s schools

File photo
File photo

Bringing Bucks schools into the 21st Century will cost the council £211 million in the next ten years according to a new finance report.

A report presented to the council’s cabinet also identified that the current maintenance backlog for schools in the county is £34.2 million.

And despite changes to the way some of the schools will soon receive their funding, work needs to be done to 
improve the offer for children in the county.

The maintenance revealled in the report backlog consists of £25.5 million for primary schools, £5.2 million for secondary schools, £2.5 million for special schools and £0.5 million for nursery schools and other buildings.

Work must also be done to ensure that children who are not achieving as highly get the support they need.

The report said: “Future developments are likely to include a further number of schools becoming outside of council control as academies, together with the opening of new free schools, which are also directly funded by central government, and which will reduce some of the 
demographic pressure on places.

“There is a need for capital investment to increase pupil places due to demographic pressures and reduce the backlog in property maintenance, which has remained static in recent years.

“The current schools maintenance backlog is £34.2million.”

In the report the council also outlined its plans for the long-term future of school in the county.

The report said that the council wants all children to have the facilities they need to achieve their potential, in an environment that 
‘promotes improved outcomes (healthy, safe, educational and economic).

There will also be a drive to ensure that children who are under-achieving achieve better results.

It said: “In addition to the pressure on school places there is a need to consider the development or replacement of existing school buildings to enable the development of a 21st century curriculum.

“The cost would be £211million over a ten year period in addition to the 
existing CIL and S106 funding requirements.”

The report added: “Capital finding has been prioritised for addressing the maintenance backlog, providing disability access, modernisation to meet the needs of the current curriculum, kitchen facilities to meet the new requirement to 
provide school lunches for five to seven year olds, 
improvements to toilet facilities and sustainability