Council chiefs say a plan will see £5.5million invested in school buildings and facilities across Staffordshire – including at sites in Lichfield and Burntwood.

The proposal will be debated at a meeting of Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet tomorrow (20th October).

The funding would see refurbishments to playgrounds as well as roof repairs and new windows at sites identified as being in need of an upgrade.

The money will also support the decarbonisation programme which has already seen inefficient heating systems replaced and improved insulation at some schools.

Cllr Jonathan Price, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for education said:

“We need to ensure our schools are fit for future learners, which is why we are continually investing our buildings.

“Having school buildings that have good facilities is proven to aid children’s learning, and this latest investment will upgrade the facilities of many more schools in the county.

“Our carbon neutral programme in schools has been incredibly successful, with schools already benefitting from upgraded systems that are better for the environment.

“This latest investment will see 11 more schools fitted with modern systems designed to regulate and reduce their carbon output, directly contributing to the county council’s ambitions of reaching net zero carbon by 2050.”

Cllr Jonathan Price, Staffordshire County Council

A report to the meeting says schools including Highfields Primary School, Chase Terrace Primary School, Ridgeway Primary School and King Edward VI School would all be in line for planned maintenance works over the 2021-22 period.

Meanwhile, schools such as St Michael’s in Lichfield and Fulfen in Burntwood have also been earmarked for refurbishment over the coming year.

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  1. There are some 500 schools. For the work specified the amount stated is woefully inadequate. Few schools have carbon neutral heating systems. The onus should be on central government not county and local councils.

  2. Clearly, there is an awful lot that needs to be done to maintain our schools – and it all costs. However, one thing that hasn’t been mentioned is the fact that so many schools have no sprinkler system. When the old Chase Terrace High School in Burntwood was burnt down nearly 20 years ago, it was a disaster. Other people will know better than me what the final cost of rebuilding the school was, and, of course, schools have insurance. But the disruption to children and the loss of their work are not covered by insurance. Fortunately, in this case no one was hurt. Heaven forbid a school fire should result in serious injury or loss of life.

    Schools are well known to be targets for arson attacks. Every child should be safe in school. I believe new schools have sprinkler systems, surely it’s time older school buildings had them fitted too?

  3. Clare Sholl raises an interesting point. I went to the old Chase Terrace comprehensive, and the problem with it was not only the lack of sprinkler systems, but given when it was built, there was no fire stopping, through compartmentalisation, so the fire just ripped straight through the main building. Old buildings like that, whether schools or not, need to be brought up to standard to protect life and property. That will cost a lot more than the amount mentioned, but failing to do this is a disaster waiting to happen

  4. @John Allen: precisely. Nobody likes paying large sums of money to prevent something that might never happen, but it worries me that it will take a tragedy for this to even be considered. We all know what happened with the Grenfell Tower fire – hindsight can be a tragic thing. Personally, I would be interested to know whether there is any prospect of at least considering sprinkler systems in those schools with the highest risk, even if only to protect escape routes.

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