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Council welcomes government funding for Devon schools

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We’re welcoming an announcement by the Department for Education today, Friday 16 December, that multiple Devon schools are to be included in the national school rebuilding programme.

Tiverton High, Swimbridge Primary, Tipton St John Primary, Whipton Barton Infants, Dawlish College, Tavistock College, and the River Dart Academy, Dartington, are all listed to receive Government funding to help re-build or otherwise improve outdated school properties.

We have long supported proposals for a new school buildings for Tipton St John and Tiverton High.

Cabinet member for schools, Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, said:

“We’ve been working closely with Tipton St John Primary and Tiverton High School for a number of years to highlight the real need for the schools to be re-built.

“I’m delighted that the Department for Education has recognised that need and included the projects in the national school rebuilding programme.

“We will now continue to campaign with the school, governors and parents to ensure that they are completed as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile pupils and staff at Swimbridge Primary have been temporarily using other school premises nearby for several months, while urgent structural modifications are made to its school building. 

Structural engineers became concerned earlier this year about the encroaching hillside at the rear of the school that could potentially undermine the structure of the building, if not addressed immediately.

And serving Tipton St John, a village school prone to flooding in recent years and to which most of its pupils travel in from Ottery St Mary, proposals will see a new primary school built on a site yet to be confirmed.

Both Swimbridge and Tipton St John primaries are Church of England schools.

The Venerable Douglas Dettmer, Chair of the Exeter Diocesan Board of Education, said:

“This is wonderful news for two rural Church of England schools in Devon which have served their communities for generations.  The Government’s decision to include Tipton St John and Swimbridge in its School Rebuilding Programme will address the problems of the current sites so that both schools can continue to serve local families for many years to come.”

We are also working closely with Dawlish College and the Academy Trusts that have submitted proposals for upgrades to Tavistock College and the River Dart Academy, Dartington.