School funding

Village primary gets a second ‘golden ticket’ to deck out its new home

The small school has been handed the keys to a 400-capacity building after a planned free school was abandoned

The small school has been handed the keys to a 400-capacity building after a planned free school was abandoned

10 Jun 2024, 5:00

More from this author

A small village primary that was handed the keys to a 400-capacity building has now been given more than £1 million to deck out its new home.

A free school was originally earmarked for the multi-million pound building in Wellingborough, but the government pulled the plug on the scheme after projections showed it would squeeze places in an area already hit by falling births.

Faced with having to mothball the site, North Northamptonshire councillors voted to hand it over this September to Wilby Primary School, which admits 13 children a year. It had 87 pupils on its books last November.

Last month they also greenlit proposals to spend £1.3 million to install internal and external furniture, fittings and equipment to fit out the site.

Jonathan Simons, the head of education at consultancy firm Public First, previously described the decision to move Wilby into the building as “a failure of strategic planning by the council (or its predecessor)”.

North Northamptonshire was created in 2022 when Northamptonshire was split up.

‘This compounds the initial error’

Simons said last month’s move “compounds the initial error”.

“Once again it raises the question of why the school is moving into this much larger building in the first place.”

Jonathan Simons
Simons

Council papers show the cash will come from the basic needs grant, which “is a formulaically allocated DfE capital grant that supports the creation of suitable school places”.

Wilby’s new base was funded through developer contributions and is three miles from its present site.

Schools Week understands the cash will buy kitchen facilities, tables, chairs, whiteboards and cupboards.

The Department for Education approved plans for the primary to move out of local authority control and into the Peterborough Diocese Education Trust in February.

At May’s council meeting Jason Smithers, the authority’s leader, said the allocation would “benefit…the children of North Northamptonshire”.

Last year, Lynette Dudley, Wilby’s chair of governors, compared the move to winning “the golden ticket”.

Latest education roles from

Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA)

Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA)

Platanos College

Teacher of Boys’ PE

Teacher of Boys’ PE

Platanos College

Head of Girls’ PE

Head of Girls’ PE

Platanos College

Art Teacher

Art Teacher

Platanos College

EA to the CEO & Senior Directors

EA to the CEO & Senior Directors

Haberdashers’ Academies Trust South

Head of Faculty (History and RS)

Head of Faculty (History and RS)

Ark Greenwich Free School

Sponsored posts

Sponsored post

How can we prepare learners for their future in an ever-changing world?

By focusing their curriculums on transferable skills, digital skills, and sustainability, schools and colleges can be confident that learners...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Inspiring Education Leaders for 10 Years

The 10th Inspiring Leadership Conference is to be held on 13 and 14 June 2024 at the ICC in...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Inspire creativity in your classroom. Sky Arts’ Access All Arts week is back!

Now in its third year, Access All Arts week is a nationwide celebration of creativity for primary schools (17-21...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Unleash the Power of Sport in your setting this summer! National School Sports Week is back!

Unleash the Power of Sport this summer with National School Sports Week powered by Monster Kickabout! From 17-23 June,...

SWAdvertorial

More from this theme

School funding

Election delays universal free school meals funding decision

Schools will receive first payments for 2024-25 based on this year's funding rate

Freddie Whittaker
School funding

Two in three special schools face real-terms cuts, unions warn

Special schools' spending power is £419 million lower than it was in 2010

Freddie Whittaker
School funding

Cost of living and teacher pay rises forcing cuts in schools

Schools struggle to get mental health and SEND support for pupils while providing meals and food parcels to hungry...

Freddie Whittaker
School funding

‘Rebalance’ funding back to poorer schools, says Sutton Trust

Report also calls for extension of pupil premium funding and reinstated cash for tutoring

Freddie Whittaker

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *