New school for Stevenage?

A NEW school for the north of Stevenage could be on the agenda thanks to a multi-million pound project. Hertfordshire County Council this week said it expects to build a new school near to new housing in the Great Ashby area as part of the £146m Buildin

A NEW school for the north of Stevenage could be on the agenda thanks to a multi-million pound project.

Hertfordshire County Council this week said it "expects to build a new school" near to new housing in the Great Ashby area as part of the £146m Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme.

Lindsay Martin, director of BSF in Hertfordshire, said: "We expect to have a new school to serve a new housing area. We are looking for a site jointly with the borough council."

BSF is a massive shake up of education in Stevenage, funded by £146m from the Government.


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Headteachers and governors have been in discussions with the county council about how to use the money.

Ideas put forward so far include placing community facilities such as libraries within school grounds to make better use of school buildings and involve schools more in the wider community.

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There have also been discussions about having police officers and medical facilities based at schools, and making school facilities available to the public in the evenings and during weekends and holidays.

Russell Ball, director of 14 to 19 education in Stevenage, said: "Schools are very expensive facilities and therefore we need to use them as much as possible to gain value for money."

As part of the plans schools across the town are likely to get massive facelifts and new ICT facilities.

However it seems likely that some schools will close, as they are combined to former fewer, larger campuses.

A spokesman for HCC said: "There is a national trend towards fewer, larger schools which can offer a broad curriculum and attract ambitious and talented staff more easily, so there is a strong possibility that this could be an option for Stevenage."

A range of proposals will be put to public consultation in May and it is expected that any building work would start in 2009.

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