Ipswich: Chantry High School is facing a wait for new buildings decision

IPSWICH: A high school in the town has today learnt multi-million pound government plans to rebuild their ageing buildings will take longer than expected to emerge.

Last Wednesday the Star revealed the exciting proposals to transform Chantry High School had been shortlisted under the government’s Priority School Building Programme.

It was understood successful schools were due to hear from the department in early March.

But now it has emerged the announcement may take longer than expected, as the department moved to deny rumours it had been delayed by six months.

In a statement the department said: “It is totally false to claim that the announcement has been delayed by another six months.

“Partnerships for Schools are currently reviewing applications to the Priority School Building Programme to ensure there is a fair and rigorous selection of schools.

“Until all applications have been fully assessed, we are not able to announce which schools will be in the programme. It is incredibly important that this process is done properly and we have always been clear that this will take time. We will make an announcement in due course.”

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Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said: “I am keeping up the pressure for Chantry. The important thing is to get it right and if it means Chantry getting new money I would rather they didn’t rush the decision.

“This programme is certainly happening. I am doing everything in my power to make sure the money comes to Ipswich.”

However shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg said the Priority School Building Programme “appeared to be in chaos.”

He said: “After the chaotic abandonment of the programme to rebuild all secondary schools in England, the Government’s Priority School Building Programme appears to be in chaos.

“Parents that are struggling to get their child into their first choice school, or don’t have a good range of choices will be frustrated by this delay. It is also another blow to the construction industry who have seen these plans delayed three times now.”

The school had been approved for Building Schools for the Future (BSF) funding before the scheme was abandoned by the new government.

n What changes would you like to see at Chantry High? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk