School project given welcome cash boost

Shipston High School
Shipston High School

Shipston High School has been given a cash boost by the government to begin work on its new state-of-the-art building.

A grant of £1.6 million from the Targeted Basic Need programme was announced by Warwickshire County Council before the school broke up for Christmas.

Shipston High already has planning permission for a new building that will have six new classrooms, office space, new student toilets and a large open-plan resources area. It is hoped construction work may start as early as spring and be completed in autumn this year.

Jonathan Baker, head teacher, said: “It was the best Christmas present the school could have wished to receive! We’re really delighted with the news, not least because we have been planning and working hard on getting the project off the ground.

“We have, however, no intention of taking things any easier and we are already making plans to start a huge fundraising appeal for the next phase of our project, to build a four-court sports hall for the school and its wider community.” The new two-storey building will have a lift to make it the only part of the school to be fully accessible for people with disabilities.

It is the first phase in a long-term project and it is hoped the sports hall will be a joint school and community facility to benefit people young and old.

The school has consulted with groups in the town and has already received enthusiastic support from sports clubs and representatives.

Mr Baker said: “The original building was completed in the 1950s and is now showing serious signs of its age. Because of this the new building is just the first phase of a plan to gradually rebuild the entire school.

“When it is finished, the new building, which will be the first part of the school visitors will see, will showcase what the new Shipston High School will eventually look like.

“Following completion of the sports hall the school then plans to replace each of its existing, out-dated teaching blocks, one by one, until Shipston finally has a brand new school which will, hopefully, accommodate its spiralling numbers and enable it to look forward with confidence to its next 50 years.”

The school has become heavily over-subscribed, meaning it has more than 450 students in a building designed for up to 388. In the next few years the school is likely to grow to more than 500 pupils.