Schools benefit from huge ‘academy cash’ windfall

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A Burnley school has been given a cash windfall to address the problem of water leaking into classrooms.

Coal Clough Academy is to receive £142,054 from the Department of Education as part of the government’s £435m investment in academy schools.

The money will be used for replacement windows.

Academies in the North West will receive a total of £44.1 million towards building improvements and school expansion projects, allowing them to upgrade their facilities and create extra places where needed.

The funding comes from the Government’s Condition Improvement Fund for 2016 – 17.

Lancashire only has a smattering of academies, with the majority of the 600 plus schools under the control of Lancashire County Council.

Four Pendle schools are also to benefit from the academy cash.

Pendle Primary Academy is to receive £139,053 for essential refurbishment work; Colne Primet Academy has been awarded a grant of £139,130 for ‘essential health and safety repair works’. Castercliffe Primary School will get £142,055.

And Nelson’s Great Marsden St John’s CE Primary School will get £141,981 for a fire door replacement, fire systems and securoity.

The Government’s new Education White Paper sets out radical proposals to transform all schools into academies and has already sparked widespread protests.

Lancashire’s leading teaching unions, as well as business and industry, have condemned the move.

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers told the annual conference this week: “Over 80 percent of local authority schools are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, so why force them to change?

“Lots of evidence suggests the academy programme isn’t working.”