Harrold Lower School has its new permanent classrooms in place ready for the start of the new term – the first in a programme to replace every temporary classroom across the borough.
Headteacher Corinne Royden said: “Our temporary classrooms with poor insulation and rotting frames were well past their sell-by date. Our children will now have new permanent buildings designed to provide the outstanding teaching and learning environment they deserve.”
The construction company carrying out the work is Sandy-based Kier and Harrold Lower School has a special place in the heart of the site manager, David Eaton – his 12-year-old daughter Lily is a pupil at the adjoining Harrold Priory Middle School.
David said: “This is obviously extra special for me to help my local school. I’m enjoying working alongside the council’s team in delivering the scheduled works in order to meet the increased demand for school places in the area.”
Bedford Borough Council is investing more than £48 million in schools over the next three years to replace temporary classrooms, ensure school places and work to see buildings are fit for lessons.
Cllr Henry Vann, Portfolio Holder for Education at Bedford Borough Council, said: “This is an important stage in our ambitious programme to get rid of the makeshift temporary classrooms of the past and deliver sufficient, high-quality spaces for children and young people to learn in.
Bedford is one of the best places in the country to go to lower or primary school with 90% of our schools overall ranked as good or outstanding by Ofsted. Our teachers, pupils and the communities need buildings that are fit to learn and teach in and this is what we are delivering.”
Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson said: “We are delighted to see the first permanent classrooms in place at one of our local schools. This major programme of improvements for local schools is delivering buildings and facilities fit for current and future generations of students. The programme is a key feature of our commitment to support schools to continue to drive up standards on behalf of all local children and young people.”
The Borough Council has already invested heavily to ensure the creation of excellent teaching and learning space. This has included the construction and opening of three new primary schools, each with room for 420 pupils, and the expansion and upgrading of many others. The Council invested £26 million in the last financial year alone in improving and maintaining school facilities.