Sunderland City Council preparing to bid for part of Government’s £2billion school building cash

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ANOTHER round of schools are gearing up to convince the Government that they are also worthy of cash allocated to rebuild the poorest condition buildings in the 

Cabinet members at Sunderland City Council will today discuss whether to ask the Department for Education (DfE) for inclusion in its second Priority Schools building programme.

Schools minister David Laws, in May, pledged another £2billion over a five-year period to rebuild and refurbish schools that are in the worst condition.

The DfE “will only take forward schools in the worst condition, where that condition necessitates a complete rebuild or major refurbishment”, the report to cabinet reads.

Schools previously identified as potentially suitable to put forward include John F Kennedy, Thorney Close, South Hylton, Springwell Village and Mill Hill primary schools, as well as Fulwell Junior School and New Silksworth Infant School.

The council must submit its shortlist by July 21 to be considered, and successful applicants will be informed in December.

Members will also discuss allocating extra funding to alter plans for the new-build Shiney Row Primary School, part of the first priority schools programme, to cater for 60 places per year group, instead of 45.

The expansion would help alleviate pressure caused by a predicted influx of primary-aged children as a result of planned housing developments in Philadelphia and Shiney Row.

The additional cost of £700,000 would be met by the council’s basic need allocation from the DfE, but later be off-set by payments from developers as part of their planning conditions.

The council is also working with Roman Catholic and Church of England dioceses to identify any of their schools that meet the criteria.