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City school battles for revamp cash

PUBLISHED: 07:47 02 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:17 07 May 2010

A city school has pleaded with Norfolk County Council to put them higher up the list for a share of a £700m-plus project to rebuild or revamp every county high and special needs school.

A city school has pleaded with Norfolk County Council to put them higher up the list for a share of a £700m-plus project to rebuild or revamp every county high and special needs school.

At yesterday's cabinet, members agreed to submit the bid unaltered to the government for an early entry into the multi-billion-pound Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, which aims to improve every high school in England in future years.

The bid includes an initial group of the neediest schools, followed by collections clustered together geographically and according to exam results, deprivation and building condition.

The Hewett School in Norwich, which has been placed in group four awaiting a 70pc+ overhaul, had challenged the proposed order of projects.

Fred Corbett, deputy director of children's services, said he had been contacted by The Hewett School with “questions about where they were placed”.

Mr Corbett said: “It's very clear from the information that we had from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) that to get into the BSF programme now we have to demonstrate that we are first tackling the group of schools with the lowest levels of performance and highest levels of social deprivation.

“If we get it wrong the whole proposal will be sent back to us and it will delay even phase one for a number of years.”

He said the DCSF insisted that the follow-up groups were grouped together geographically.

Rosalie Monbiot, cabinet member for children's services, said: “We must not forget that this is very good news. Until two months ago we thought the first time we would even be considered was 2011.

“If we are successful with the submission, it means every school will move up a level and have work done earlier.”

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