The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead has successfully completed a £30m expansion programme for secondary schools – with seven schools benefitting from this phase of investment in new facilities.
The council’s latest phase of investment in new high-quality classrooms, specialist teaching and ancillary spaces is part of ongoing work to ensure there is sufficient capacity to meet projected demand for pupil places in communities where it is needed.
With funding from Government, the council itself and infrastructure contributions from developers, this major funding package for secondary schools followed on from expansion of primary schools, both of which responded to a bulge in pupils flowing through the education system.
Over the last four years, expansion works have taken place at Windsor Girls’ School, Windsor Boys’ School, Dedworth Middle School, Cox Green School, Furze Platt Senior School, Charters School and St Peter’s Middle School.
Cllr Stuart Carroll, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The council has a legal duty to ensure there are sufficient school places to meet demand, and this is an important part of our ongoing investment in schools and our children’s future.
“It’s great to mark the completion of our latest phase of expansion, which has met a bulge in demand for secondary school places where it’s needed in the borough by investing in high-quality facilities that greatly benefit children and teaching staff alike.
“While this latest phase is now successfully completed, resulting in fantastic new facilities across seven schools, the council has an ongoing programme of work to forecast and meet future demand, working closely with schools to ensure that new facilities meet their requirements and the guidelines from the Department for Education.”
Cathrin Thomas, headteacher of Cox Green School, said: “We were thrilled to be one of the seven schools to receive substantial investment from the council, allowing us to expand our intake.
“Cox Green School opened in 1967 and the requirements of a school learning environment have changed substantially over half a century. The investment we received allowed us to create purpose-built maths classrooms, with inbuilt technology, upgrade our science spaces and build a brand new maths block and dining space. Our students have benefitted enormously and our school community continues to grow because of it.”
Andrew Morrison, headteacher of Furze Platt Senior School, said: “At Furze Platt Senior School, expansion monies have enabled us to open a new three-storey English and science block, as well as a new theatre.
“The success of the new buildings was evident as students walked into the spaces. Their enthusiasm and excitement were palpable. They wanted to learn in the new environment which offered our staff the opportunity to develop new lessons enhanced by the state-of-the-art facilities.
“While the pandemic initially limited the impact of the theatre, we are now using our 400-seat venue for assemblies and parental presentations. We are very excited to see our first music and drama shows in the near future, along with seeing it being used by our community.”