Harrogate High

Harrogate High School to be completely rebuilt

Harrogate High

Harrogate High School has been chosen to be completely rebuilt as part of a Government scheme to improve the conditions in some of Britain’s schools.

Work will begin in the near future on the school as part of the coalition Government’s Priority School Building Programme.

Harrogate High was chosen along with 261 schools in the country that were put forward as being in greatest need of repair.

Local MP Andrew Jones, who discussed the bid with the head teacher prior to its submission, welcomed the news.

Andrew Jones said:

It is good to see that even though money is hard to come by at the moment, what is available is being channelled into the right places. This significant investment in children’s education is a real investment in our future, and Harrogate High has been in need of serious building work for some time.

Andrew Bayston, head teacher,told Andrew Jones that it wasn’t economically viable to keep patching up repairs and the school was too large for the 780 students currently on the schools roll. Harrogate High is the only school in North Yorkshire to be chosen for the scheme.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, said that his department had to take difficult decisions to target spending on those schools that are in the worst condition.

 Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education:

In order to ensure that the process was robust and fair, a qualified surveyor has visited every school for which an eligible application was received to verify the condition of the buildings. This was necessary to make sure the schools being taken forward are those with the greatest overall need.

Over the past two years the Government allocated billions of pounds to local authorities to support the provision of new school places and for the maintenance of the school estate to meet the needs of maintained schools and Academies.

The school will be rebuilt under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal, with a  private contractor paying upfront for the school and  then leasing it back for up to 30 years. PFI deals have become increasingly expensive since the financial crisis though.

Under the school rebuilding scheme, schools will manage and control services such as cleaning, catering and security rather than having them bundled within the PFI.

The first rebuilt schools are expected to be open in 2014.

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