Ipswich: Delay over building work at school

Chantry High School Head Andrew Fell and Ipswich MP Ben Gummer

Chantry High School Head Andrew Fell and Ipswich MP Ben Gummer

A HEADTEACHER has admitted he is disappointed over a delay to the start of a government-funded building project.

Last May Suffolk New Academy, then known as Chantry High School, was told it was one of 261 schools selected by the government to be rebuilt under the Priority School Building Programme.

The scheme would see the current buildings, which are 50 years old, replaced with a completely new school.

However this week it emerged that nine months after the announcement, most of the schools chosen still had no idea when the investment would be made.

Andrew Fell, Suffolk New Academy principal, said despite the disappointment over the delay, he was pleased it will be rebuilt by 2018.

In a statement, he said: “Following the recent publicity around the timing for the Priority Schools Building Programme, Suffolk New Academy is in the latter waves of the programme. It is expected that engagement with the DfE will start in early 2015, looking to complete the build by 2018. Whilst we are disappointed that the build has not been accelerated, we are very pleased that the school will be rebuilt.

“Upon conversion to Suffolk New Academy a significant investment into the buildings has already been undertaken and the Academy has several significant additional funds to maintain the buildings in the short and medium term. I am confident we can provide a good learning environment whilst plans for a new building are implemented.”

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Speaking at the time of the announcement, Mr Fell said it would be a massive boost for the students, parents and the whole of Ipswich.