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£10m for Shipston High School to expand and extra money for Stratford senior school

A £10MILLION funding boost for Shipston High School has been hailed as “a huge vote of confidence” by headteacher, Gavin Saunders.

The money has been allocated to improve the school, allowing it to take extra pupils.

Shipston High School (58170407)
Shipston High School (58170407)

The funding was agreed at a cabinet meeting of Warwickshire County Council and is one of a number of projects added to the education capital programme.

A Department for Education grant will cover £10.023m of Shipston’s refurbishment with an additional £509,000 coming from developer contributions.

Mr Saunders told the Herald: “We are delighted. The Shipston area is growing and thriving as more homes are built and people have moved here for the quality of life and the quality of education.

“We have been over oversubscribed but the money now means we will be able to provide many extra places and accept more students into Year 7 with a larger, more modern, more contemporary facility. At this point there are no plans to increase beyond Years 7 to 11.

“The key areas for development will be science, technology and sport with a large shared communal area to create a state-of-the-art school which is a real boost for the pupils and the community.”

A report to council’s cabinet explained that the school had taken extra students over the past two years and it was now full. It also outlined the scale of the Shipston project: “The proposal looks to refurbish and remodel existing buildings, provide a new sports hall and related changing and storage facilities, and convert a pond area to courtyard to provide additional informal hard standing/external teaching areas.

Shipston High School (58170410)
Shipston High School (58170410)

“These works will facilitate a much-needed expansion for 150 places.”

It added: “The school currently lacks the appropriate indoor sports and examination facilities and therefore the provision of the sports hall is essential for them to be able to operate.”

The report warned that the project was still at an early stage and was therefore vulnerable to further inflationary price increases, although a level of contingency had been included.

Mr Saunders added: “There is a real sense of identity with Shipston High School. People love it and are protective towards it and it has a good reputation and the allocation of £10m has had a big impact on pupils and staff who shared the good news with a sense of real joy, particularly after a disruptive two years caused by Covid.”

  • Councillors also agreed extra funding for work at Stratford-upon-Avon School after being told that an expansion to cater for an additional 300 pupils was needed and was likely to cost £2.2m over the original £11.573m budget. A report said that this represented a 31 per cent increase in construction costs.

It explained: “There has recently been a significant increase in construction cost inflation with contributing factors such as international conflicts, rising energy prices, HS2, EU exit and to a lesser extent Covid-19 impacting the market.”

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