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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Schools received funding boost

Hurworth Primary and Secondary schools will benefit from £52,808.25 of local council funding

Darlington schools will receive a five-figure funding boost to carry out much-needed maintenance works.

Hurworth Primary and Secondary schools will benefit from £52,808.25 of local council funding, provided by a housing developer building new homes in the area. It is the final round of funding handed out to the schools after a previous investment in March 2023.

Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet members agreed to release the funding after hearing how the two school’s facilities have declined in recent years.

Cllr Nick Wallis, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “The school buildings are in significant need of substantial repair and maintenance. While half of this money will be welcome it’s a drop in the ocean of what the schools actually need.”

The investment comes as part of a Section 106 agreement at the Miller Homes and Croft House developments, where developers contribute a certain amount of funds to local infrastructure, projects and services.

Cllr Wallis told the meeting how the then education secretary Michael Gove scrapped previous funding pledges made by the Labour government, which were set to improve the facilities at the two Hurworth schools. “Hurworth has had to live with the consequences since then,” he said.

“Schools are in desperate need of not just repairs and patching up but full rebuilds.”

The funding was hailed by Rachel Somerville, Head of School, as key to improving the schools facilities. “The school has invested significantly in its premises both externally and in its infrastructure over the last 20 years to make it a welcoming and vibrant learning experience for staff and students,” she said.

“In line with the majority of schools up and down the country there is always scope for improvement and that means that you always have to have your eye on what you can do next to improve the building, the facilities and the learning environment for students, staff and parents.

“The final stage of capital funding being released as part of the Section 106 agreement will allow us to accelerate this programme.”

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