There was “good news all round” in Croydon this week, after the borough was finally accepted onto the next ‘wave’ of the Government’s Building Schools for the Future programme.
The comments came from Councillor Tim Pollard, Cabinet member for Children, after a combined bid from the borough and Kingston local authority was accepted by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. Croydon will now receive a portion of £800 million that was pledged to the 11 new local authorities joining the BSF.
The BSF programme in the south London borough is substantial, with the overseeing of refurbishment or rebuilding of every secondary and special school in Croydon over the coming years.
“The injection of BSF money will be used to transform the standard of schools in Croydon,” said Cllr Pollard.
He went on to say that this was long overdue. “We have been working on it [BSF application] for several years and were very surprised to be so low on the government’s list for the scheme in early spring, because we were ready.”
“The government has acknowledged that our plan to transform the standard of education in both boroughs is one of the strongest in the country,” he added.
With the news coming at the same time as the government’s alleviation of the primary school places crisis, Croydon has been rewarded for its endeavour in the education sector.
Tim Byles, chief executive of Partnership for Schools, which oversees delivery of the BSF programme, said: “With over 110,000 pupils already benefitting BSF investment, I am pleased young people in Croydon will be amongst this growing number as the local authority begins its BSF journey … We look forward to working with the Kingston and Croydon team to help deliver schools for the 21st century.”
Cllr Pollard agrees: “Head teachers can now be satisfied their pupils are studying in a 21st century learning environment.