School pupil and teacher

Staffordshire County Council to spend millions on improving schools

Lighter, brighter classrooms, with more fuel-efficient heating and lighting systems are part of a £12 million investment to maintain and improve schools in Staffordshire by the county council.

Expenditure beginning this year will include installing new roofs and windows, replacing inefficient heating systems and ageing electrical networks, as well as upgrading old pipework and fitting new energy controls that monitor usage.

The investment will also improve insulation and see new LED lighting installed.

While research has shown good ventilation and lighting improve pupils’ capacity to learn, health and education studies also back the provision of creating more open toilet areas in older buildings.

This is to encourage children to use them regularly and drink enough water during the day.

Commenting, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Education (and SEND), Councillor Jonathan Price said:

“The quality of school buildings can help or hinder pupils’ learning and we are committed to having our children taught in the best possible environment across the county.

“I am delighted that we now have £12m to invest. Some changes will be obvious and benefits pupils and staff enormously, while others will be behind the scenes to ensure the school is in good shape for the future.

“One of the biggest demands on a school’s budget is the cost of heating and lighting so improvements to boilers, insulation and lighting will all pay long term dividends for heads and governors.”

Staffordshire County Council had already allocated £4m for structural repairs and internal improvements in 2020/21.

But now the Department for Education has told the authority it can spend £9.6m on the 128 maintained schools that it is directly responsible for.

Also added to Staffordshire County Council’s expenditure is £2.44m to spend on creating more school places for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and Education, Health and Care Plans (ECHPs).

Councillor Price added:

“We want all children with special educational needs and disabilities to be able to reach their potential by receiving the right support at the right time in their own communities and at their local school or place of education.

“This grant is a step in that direction towards educating children closer to home and providing better support in mainstream classrooms.”


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