School hoping for cash boost

PUBLISHED: 11:28 02 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:08 06 May 2010

A Biggleswade school is waiting for news that could secure its future well into the 21st century. Stratton Upper School has applied for special status and funding from the Department for Education and Skills (DFES) to specialise in maths and computing. If

A Biggleswade school is waiting for news that could secure its future well into the 21st century.

Stratton Upper School has applied for special status and funding from the Department for Education and Skills (DFES) to specialise in maths and computing.

If successful it will mean the school being given funding of £229,000 which the school aims to use to expand its teaching base and help the community of Biggleswade.

The school has been able to take the big step, which has cost £50,000, thanks to a donation of £25,000 from The Kathleen and Michael Connolly Foundation, a charity set up by builder Michael Connolly in memory of his late wife Kathleen in 1999.

During a three-year campaign the school raised the other £25,000 and submitted their application on October 18.

"We had been trying to raise the £50,000 for the past three years when the charity offered us £25,000," said school headteacher Neil Bramwell.

"It had been a long and difficult process and we had raised a certain amount of money, around £10,000, and we were getting pretty disheartened.

"Now we have found the financial criteria and are keeping our fingers crossed we will be getting good news in the new year.

Special status would open up a new spectrum of teaching in the subjects of maths and computing, provided not just for the school's pupils but other people of all ages in the community.

It would also mean Stratton Upper School remaining as a training school for teachers and provide the foundation for the school well into the 21st century.

"This school is 56 years old so we are planning for the future," added Mr Bramwell.

He also revealed further plans for the school's future and how in a few years some areas could be demolished and other buildings remodelled.

"We are building for the school's future and some areas of the school need replacing or refurbishing," added Mr Bramwell.

"At the moment we have 1,200 pupils and with the prospect of the town's expansion to the east of Biggleswade that could rise to 1,700 so we must be prepared for the future.

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