£2.5m boost for schools

Plans to increase the number of school places in Dewsbury have been approved this week.

At a Kirklees Council cabinet meeting on Tuesday, councillors voted in favour of a scheme to help alleviate school overcrowding.

The council will now look into the possibility of a new-build extension at Earlsheaton Infant School to replace the school’s temporary classroom. They will also consider a four-classroom extension at Ravensthorpe Infant and Nursery School.

Both of the schools were listed as in ‘essential basic need’ in a report submitted to the council.

It is hoped the scheme will alleviate pressure on schools in Ravensthorpe and Dewsbury West that has been partly caused a population increase in the area.

The proposal formed part of a larger Kirklees-wide agreement for extra schools funding, but earmarked £2.5 million to be spent by 2015 on the Ravensthorpe and Dewsbury West.

The report said: “A number of ageing temporary classrooms are in poor condition and in need of replacement.

“Given this it is proposed that the temporary classrooms at the schools are replaced by permanent extensions rather than through the provision of new modular buildings.”

At the meeting, councillors spoke of their frustration at a lack of funding for schools from central government.

Coun David Sheard said: “Mr Gove seems more interested in spending money on gimmicks rather than the bread and butter of schools. We have to make sure there are adequate provisions for school places.

“There is so much more we would do for these schools if we had the money, but we don’t, so we have to spend what we can wisely.”