A £20 million building investment in Thomas Keble School has been welcomed by MP Siobhan Baillie as part of the Government’s £2 billion increase in school funding nationally.
Following investment from the Government’s School Rebuilding Programme, the MP was taken around the site in Eastcombe by deputy head Chris Patrick.
She supported the school in parliament with ministers following concerns over the state of the existing buildings and liaised with the government on behalf of local residents.
The development replaces five worn out buildings at the academy trust school with a single new building to the Department for Education’s (DfE) latest specification.
“It was incredibly exciting to see how the new building is progressing and hear how much staff and pupils are about having a brand new building fit for the 21st century,” said Ms Baillie.
“This a major investment in education in the Stroud area that is going to make a difference to pupils for generations. I thank the DfE for agreeing to it. The old buildings were certainly in a bad way and at the end and structurally unsound.
“Thank you to the school for allowing me to visit and for continuing to be respectful of all the community around the school. It has not been easy for some residents to navigate changes due to the scale and because the plans went through during the pandemic. I have worked with them and the Department for Education at various stages.”
Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan said: “It’s fantastic that Thomas Keble School is starting work as part of our School Rebuilding Programme. It is just one of 500 schools across the country that will be transformed over the next decade.
“I know the huge impact this will have on the community and its future generations from my conversations with Siobhan, who has championed the project in Parliament and to me personally.
“The brand-new building, which will replace five of the current buildings, will make an enormous difference to the school when it opens next year.”
In February 2021 critical structural concerns were observed within a section of the existing main teaching block at the school requiring urgent remedial action. Propping works were needed to permit the school to return to full operations following the Easter break.
Work on the new building by Kier Construction began in February 2023 and it will be ready for occupation in September 2024.
The School Rebuilding Programme is providing a £1.8 billion investment for the 2023 to 2024 financial year to improve the condition of the school estate across England.