TWO schools are receiving huge investments as part of an £8million Wiltshire Council scheme to maintain school buildings.

The scheme will see £8million invested into schools across the county over the next four years, including two schools in Salisbury.

The funding is in addition to the government money provided by the Department for Education and underlines the council’s commitment to ensuring that schools are safe and inspirational places for learning.

At a cabinet meeting this week, council leaders agreed the additional investment for council-maintained schools to ensure they provide bright learning environments for Wiltshire children.

Salisbury Journal: Cllr Laura MayesCllr Laura Mayes

Councillor Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills said, “Wiltshire Council is investing £8m over the next four years to maintain its school buildings to ensure that schools are safe and inspirational places for learning.

"Two projects are already under construction at Porton St Nicholas Primary School and St Peter's CE Primary Academy in Salisbury.

"The St Peter’s Primary School project will add four classrooms to the school, meaning that their annual intake will increase from 45 pupils to 60 pupils from Sept 2025. This scheme is being funded by DfE Basic Need grant.

"The expansion is needed because of the house building at Fugglestone Red (St Peter’s Place). Planning consent for “phase 2” of this school was secured when we originally obtained planning consent for the new school.  The total capacity of the school will increase from 315 to 420 pupils.

"The Porton St Nicholas project is funded by Section 106 contributions from local housing developments, and the scheme will enlarge two undersized classrooms to enable them to accommodate 30 pupils in each."

The council receives annual capital funding allocations from the Department for Education (DfE) for new places and school capital maintenance which relates to urgent and essential structural works such as roofs, walling, windows, drainage etc in addition to plant electrical and mechanical works.

All other day-to-day maintenance works and low-level cost works are the responsibility of the schools, funded from their delegated or devolved funds.

Since 2020, the council has invested an additional £1million per year of funding to supplement the DfE grant for school maintenance.

A bid to increase this to £3million per year from 2024 was agreed. This will help stem the decline of the school building stock and enable some of the historical backlog of works to be addressed.

In addition, since February 2020 the council has committed to £100,000 a year over 10 years to support the admission of pupils with disabilities to schools.

This helps to fund ramps, handrails, accessible toilets and similar works to mainstream schools to support inclusion.

Wiltshire Council says it is also committed to replacing poor condition mobiles and ‘prattens’ as part of its Business Plan. Council capital funding to replace these old blocks was secured last year.