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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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£9.3m to be spent improving Cumbrian schools

The Government has confirmed it is allocating £9.3m to be spent on expanding and improving facilities at Cumbrian schools over the next three years.

More than £8m will help pay for capital works needed to expand schools where extra places must be created to cope with increasing numbers of children.

The ‘basic need’ money is allocated across a period of three years, between 2014 and 2017.

And this year, £1.15m is being earmarked to spend on improving kitchens at primary schools, in preparation for giving all infant-aged pupils free school meals from September.

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has welcomed the announcement of more capital funding for extra places and meals for infants.

But its leaders state the money must reach the right schools.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of NAHT, said: “Schools will find the announcement helpful in tackling two of the major challenges facing them in 2014.

“If we are to ensure that every child has a good start, it is a basic requirement to have enough school places offering high quality education for all.

“Equally, the profession accepts a link between good food and educational outcomes and supports the concept of free school meals for younger children – if it is properly planned and funded.”

He continued: “The costs of making changes to buildings to provide extra places and new facilities – from ovens to whole kitchens – to supply school lunches are significant. This capital funding therefore is essential.

“The government will however need to act quickly to communicate to schools how, why and when it will be allocated.”

KPattison@cngroup.co.uk

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