School's classroom plans are back on

PUBLISHED: 08:56 12 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:44 26 October 2009

Headteacher Tracy Gaiteri with school governor Gill Sutcliffe

Headteacher Tracy Gaiteri with school governor Gill Sutcliffe

A SCHOOL which had its plans to build a new classroom dashed is now back on course to having its pupils wishes granted. Ponsbourne St Mary s School in Newgate Street village may finally get a £263,000 classroom, after a U-turn by county councillors. Hope

A SCHOOL which had its plans to build a new classroom dashed is now back on course to having its pupils' wishes granted.

Ponsbourne St Mary's School in Newgate Street village may finally get a £263,000 classroom, after a U-turn by county councillors.

Hopes of building the much-needed room went to pot after Herts County Council slashed £15m of funding last year when central government lowered its annual grant.

But after months of campaigning from pupils, parents and staff at the school to have the decision overturned, the council has recommended the capital building programme be reinstated.

Delighted headteacher Tracy Gaiteri said: "The classroom will be a huge benefit to the children and has the potential to benefit all of the village.

"We intend to make it a foundation stage classroom and community room so that it is available for the breakfast club, after school club and even a place for the Sunday school children from the local church to come.

"We're absolutely delighted!"

In the capital programme proposals for 2008 to 2011, £16.035m has been earmarked for the reinstatement of 36 school schemes.

County councillor Keith Emsall, executive member for education and culture, said: "We have made savings and efficiencies and I am delighted to announce that the bulk of last year's programme is now back on track.

"This is very good news for the schools concerned.

"We wanted to go ahead with a programme of schemes last year but these had to be put back when the Government changed its funding method for school capital schemes.

"It was a setback, but we were determined the programme should go ahead."

The proposals are to be considered by cabinet later this month when a budget will be formally recommended.

* Three other schools in Times Territory which had their building plans halted may also be in line to get them reinstated.

Chancellor's School in Pine Grove, Brookmans Park, was originally going to receive £240,000 for the refurbishment of four science laboratories.

But it is now in line for an extra £169,000, a total of £409,000.

Headteacher Stuart Phillips said: "We've heard unofficially that the capital programme will be reinstated and we're delighted if that is the case and are hoping to receive official confirmation."

De Havilland Primary School, on Travellers Lane, Hatfield, was due to get £200,000 for the remodelling of the school entrance, but it looks set to get an extra £10,000.

Head Timothy Day said: "We haven't heard anything from the council yet, but we would be absolutely thrilled if the programme was reinstated."

And Kimpton Primary School was in line for £150,000 of funding for improvements to staff and administration accommodation.

If plans are successful it will get £8,000 more.

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