17th March 2017
My weekly meeting regarding the new school building was very interesting this week with the plan for both the interior and exterior of the building progressing well. The contractors paid two visits to the school this week with the first to mark the footprint of their proposed positioning of the building and the second to discuss the transfer of our current ICT systems across to the new building. It is all very exciting yet daunting as I, with the help of the Local Authority, staff and governors, am being asked to make decisions that will have an impact on generations of school children at Vane Road. As I said last week, once the plans are nearer completion, I will invite you all in to see the proposals; this is likely to be after the Easter holidays.
10th March 2017
On Wednesday, I went to Newcastle to meet the contractors who have been appointed to build our new school. They presented a range of different options for both the positioning of the new school and how the school will look. The school is being built under a government scheme that has very strict guidelines as to how much space we have and what the building will look like externally. Clearly, the contractors will be working with a very tight budget and one of the major differences will be that the new school will be two-storey. Basically, the Juniors will be upstairs with the younger children below. We will also only have one hall, which will mean the timetabling for PE will be challenging. The overall floor space will remain the same as the existing school so we will retain good classroom sizes and we will have significantly more small-group teaching areas. There will also be a dedicated library. I have consulted with the Senior Leaders of our school and the Chair of Governors and we have formally responded to the proposals. Over the coming 5 weeks (every Wednesday), I will be in Newcastle to progress these plans. Once the plans are close to full agreement, I will share them with you. As I have mentioned in previous newsletters, with the new school building, there will be some aspects we will be disappointed with however the pros will far outweigh any cons.
10th February 2017
The Bidders Day last week was a great success with three contractors expressing significant interest in applying to build our new school. Our school will be the first to be built within this scheme and the contractors who are awarded the contract will go on from here to rebuild 7 further schools in the North East, one being Bishop Barrington.
3rd February 2017
Today is a very exciting day as we are hosting up to 40 contractors who are interested in bidding to build our new school. This marks a very significant milestone in our already long journey to have a school that is fit for our wonderful children. On Tuesday afternoon, I went to Barnard Grove Primary School, Hartlepool, which was built under the same government scheme 2 years ago. Barnard Grove is a little smaller than our school but at this stage, it is planned that our new school will be a very similar design. It was interesting to see how our new building may look and to talk to staff who have been through the process. I will keep you up-to-date with further developments as time goes on.
The school was successful in its bid to the Department for Education to be renovated through the Priority Schools Building programme 2 (PSBP2). The news was announced in January 2015 and is wonderful news for the school. The school is in need of significant repair and modernisation and through the inclusion in this scheme we will achieve an environment the children of Vane Road deserve.
A 'scoping' visit was carried out on 23rd April 2015 by a surveying company who will report back to the Education Funding Agency (EFA) who will decide in the Autumn term what the best course of action will be.
Updates will appear in this page when progress is made.