Appeal for help stocking new Suffolk high school as government funds fall short
PUBLISHED: 16:00 19 November 2018
As work begins to rebuild Stowmarket High School, headteacher Dave Lee-Allan is calling on the community to help stock the new building with key resources.
The work, funded by the Government’s ‘Priority Schools Building Programme’ (PSBP), has been years in the planning – and Mr Lee-Allan said staff, students and the local community are “delighted” to see the diggers on site.
But as the Government provides only the shell of the building and no sports equipment, outdoor benches or other recreational facilities, Mr Lee-Allan has called on the community to help stock the school with key resources before the students move in.
He also raised concerns that limited space has been dedicated to the school’s award-winning design and technology facilities, as planners work to “tight” government regulations.
While the school is consulted on the planning process, the final say lies with the Department for Education (DfE) – meaning Stowmarket High staff act only as advisors.
This has resulted in “reduced capacity facilities” deemed sufficient for the DfE, but equivalent to what may be considered a loss for the school.
“It is constructed to a very tight Government scheme, which has caused us some issues,” Mr Lee-Allan said.
“For example, our national award-winning design department will simply not be able to operate anywhere near as effectively in the reduced capacity facilities the Government says we need.
“We continue to work extremely hard to find ways of mitigating the constrictions, but also look forward to the advantages a modern well constructed building will offer us.”
The PSBP team have commissioned Wates construction to build the school – with the team well underway in their preparatory work.
The intention is that the new build will be ready to be moved into by Easter 2020. The existing site will then be demolished and converted into a playing field.
So far, the school – with the help of Friends of Stowmarket High (FOSH) – has raised £7,200 through a sponsored walk, but much more is needed to fund all the equipment the students need.
Details of how to donate can be found here.