Notts schools 'being kept in the dark' over £17 billion rebuilding plans
HEAD teachers have expressed their concern over vague plans to rebuild their schools.
Eighteen schools in Notts – three in the city and 15 in the county – have been told they will receive a share of £17 billion from a government scheme called Priority Schools Building.
Many of these schools are in line for the money because they missed out on cash from a previous government scheme called Building Schools for the Future, which was scrapped.
But fears have been raised that the Priority Schools Building Scheme has been delayed.
And head teachers in Nottingham say that they have had little information about what is planned for their schools.
Anna Grant-Thomas, acting head teacher at Glenbrook Primary and Nursery School, in Bilborough, said the school had only had one meeting with the Department for Education since last May, when it was told that it would be rebuilt with cash from the new programme.
Mrs Grant-Thomas said: "We have been given a start date of 2014 for the consultation to begin.
"We've had vert little information and when the whole school building is set to be rebuilt that just isn't good enough. The school is set to double in size from 210 to 420 pupils. For something this big we need more information."
Peter Brown, head teacher at Top Valley School, which had been due to receive £12 million of funding under the Building Schools for the Future scheme, and is now promised Priority Schools Funding, said: "We have been told we are due a sit down with the programme leaders in 2013, this year. That is meant to be quite imminent.
"It is at the stage where we are waiting for news every day.
"As a school that missed out on Building Schools for the Future this is very important to us."
The Local Government Association has expressed its fears that the work is being delayed.
A survey of the 261 schools due to be rebuilt, carried out by the association, found that, of the 158 that replied, only 19 had start dates for the building work.
Some 66 schools said they had heard nothing on their scheme.
Association chairman David Simmonds said: "Councils are stepping in to keep schools running while the Government struggles to get its act together."
Details of how much money each school will receive have yet to be released by the Department for Education.
The Department for Education denied there were delays to the programme, but said it was essential to take the time to find the right finance arrangement for each school.
A spokeswoman said it had already appointed contractors for the first two batches of capital-funded schools.