Exclusive: Huge Cash Boost for John Perryn School
Money comes after "special measures" report
John Perryn School in Acton is in line to benefit from a huge cash boost to update and improve its classrooms. Local MP Andy Slaughter has welcomed this development. He said, “I am delighted that John Perryn School has been chosen to receive this money. It is fantastic news and will enable the school to embark on substantial improvements to the buildings and classrooms and provide the modern, effective learning environment that we all want for our kids.”
The School is leading the way by benefiting from the “Primary Capital Programme”, which was announced in the 2005 Budget. This money is part of the government’s ongoing commitment to investment in education. The Programme's aim is to raise standards and improve learning opportunities by creating purpose-built, high tech and eco-friendly spaces.
The £6.5 million allocated to John Perryn will come onstream in 2008, as part of the the £150 million which is to be shared between 23 local "pathfinder" authorities to transform outdated primary schools into modern community hubs. All local authorities should benefit from the scheme from 2009-10.
This news comes five months after John Perryn (a mixed school for ages 3-11 built in the 1930's) was described as having "exceptionally low standards" by Barry Jones, the Head Inspector who recommended the school for special measures.
Ealing Council has since drafted in one of its "superheads" to take the helm. They recruited experienced headteacher Von Smith to lead the school’s improvement, drive necessary change and help to facilitate the building of the new school. Ms Smith has already made sweeping changes to the school and is obviously delighted with the news. She said: “This fantastic investment comes at a pivotal time for the school. It’s the ideal situation. The school will come out of special measures straight into a new, state-of-the-art building."
Ms Smith added: "The children here are wonderful and they deserve to learn in an environment that helps them in every possible way. We have made significant steps to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the past six months, with teachers undertaking continual training and development. They have embraced the changes and taken forward everything asked of them and we have had tremendous support from the council.”
Councillor Ian Gibb, deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We are very excited to be one of only three London boroughs leading a programme that will change the landscape of primary education in England. It allows the essential rebuild of John Perryn Primary School to progress faster and brings us a step closer to providing the inspiring learning environment that pupils there deserve.”
As a pathfinder borough, Ealing Council will work with the Department for Education and Skills, help to identify strategic priorities for London boroughs and share best practice with other authorities.
November 29, 2006