Schools in north Kent celebrate share of £2.4billion pot of Government cash

Schools in north Kent celebrate share of £2.4billion pot of Government cash

The children at Culverstone Green Primary School in Meopham are excited.

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson says the news is good for north Kent.

Ruth Doughty, headteacher of Culverstone Green in Wrotham Road, said "exciting times are ahead for the school"

Gravesham council leader John Burden is pleased about the plans but sceptical about the timing.

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Schools in north Kent will be rebuilt or refurbished as part of a £2.4billion Government funding initiative to improve education facilities across the county.

Culverstone Green Primary School in Meopham, Chantry Primary School in Ordnance Road, Gravesend and York Road Junior Academy in York Road, Dartford were selected after a lengthy bidding process which started in 2012.

Gravesham Council leader Councillor John Burden said the news was "exciting" for the schools selected but explained it would have been better if the Government had kept the Building Schools for the Future programme because more schools would have been improved by now.

The national programme will benefit 261 schools across the country but schools are not aware of exact funding figures as yet.

Ruth Doughty, headteacher of Culverstone Green in Wrotham Road, said "exciting times are ahead for the school".

She added: "We are not aware of the final plans because we are only in the feasibility stages of the process but we are hoping for an entire rebuild.

"Our school buildings were built in 1959 and we currently have two mobile classrooms which will come to the end of their lives soon, this is a much better option for us.

"It will be great for us when it happens. It's very important we go through this process because we want the right option for the school.

"We are currently a one form entry school and there are no plans to increase the size of the school.

"The buildings were originally built because we were a small, rural school but we are very popular and we need new facilities.

"One of the main parts of the redevelopment we are looking to having a bigger sports hall so we have more room for PE lessons."

Mrs Doughty added she hoped the new buildings would be ready by 2017 and everything would be done not to disrupt the pupils' education.

Chantry Primary School submitted its application in 2011 and have just received confirmation for funding.

Headteacher Michelle Munns said discussions are now being held about possible options for the site, which are expected to end in the summer of 2017.

Meanwhile, Coun Burden said: "It is excellent, this is very good news for the schools that have been selected.

"It is just a shame the Building Schools for the Future funding was cut because more schools in Gravesham would have benefited.

"It is a good programme but, call me cynical, I just think it is suspicious all this funding has been announced just a year before a European and general election.

"This is good for the schools and the kids, it is just a shame it has taken so long."

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson added: "We are very fortunate in Dartford to have a large number of excellent primary and secondary schools.

"I therefore welcome any additional funding we can secure for these schools so pupils can have the best experience possible."

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