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£3.58m repair and maintenance programme for schools

Written by on 26th June 2021

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council have agreed an additional repair and maintenance programme for schools using £3.58m Welsh Government and Council funding – including allocations to provide canopies at further 45 schools to promote outdoor learning.

A report to the Cabinet meeting on Thursday, June 24, outlined the proposed programme of around 120 schemes to repair, maintain and improve the Council’s school estate. Members wererecommended to approve the additional programme of work, which is over and above the existing School Modernisation and 21st Century Schools investment.

The new programme has been compiled as a result of funding awarded by Welsh Government in March 2021, which was supplemented by the Council’s earmarked reserves. In April, Cabinet agreed to allocate £3.58m to Schools from a total of £6.54m earmarked for investment in a number of priorities across the Council.

Thursday’s Cabinet report highlighted that the additional investment would continue the Council’s effort to create more 21st Century School environments and provide the best learning provision for pupils and their wider communities.

It also outlined how the Council has supported schools to meet COVID-19 operational guidance, facing a range of challenges to provide flexible spaces, well-ventilated areas and fit-for-purpose spaces for outdoor learning. One of the most successful interventions has been the provision of outdoor canopies, and the additional investment would also help replicate this in more schools.

The report to Cabinet therefore recommended that£3.58m funding is spent on the following projects – canopies for outdoor teaching areas (£700,000), improved ventilation (£300,000), new toilet and hygiene areas (£600,000), roofing works (£500,000), general building repairs (£680,000), 21stCentury classroom upgrades (£500,000) and new doors and windows (£300,000).

Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services, said:Cabinet Members have agreed the detail of a proposed additional programme of work across the Council’s school estate – which will deliver a range of projects from general repairs to upgrading classrooms and utilising existing outdoor spaces for learning areas.

Cabinet has previously agreed to allocate £3.58m funding to Schools in April, as part of a wider investment for priority areas thanks to Welsh Government funding being topped up by the Council. This additional funding will complement our ongoing investment in the 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme and the School Modernisation Programme – and will ensure improved facilities are delivered for the benefit of even more staff and pupils.

The detail in the report to Thursday’s meeting outlined how the new funding would be allocated, and Cabinet Members chose to agree the programme. I’m pleased that £700,000 funding will now provide new canopies at 45 schools. This has proven a successful way of utilising outdoor spacesto create learning areas – not only for COVID-friendly use in the pandemic, but as a permanent facility for use in most weather conditions all year round.”

An appendix to the report provides more details of the proposed schemes – including the individual projects for each school and the levels of investment. Following Cabinet’s agreement, the work will be carried out as soon as practically possible, working with each school to deliver the projects with minimal disruption.