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Gloucestershire Business News

County students to benefit from world-class facilities and new free schools

Students at two Gloucestershire schools will benefit from learning in world-class education facilities, after the government announced the first participants in a new £1billion transformation programme.

They are Katharine Lady Berkeley's School, near Wotton-under-Edge, and Thomas Keble School in Stroud.

The School Rebuilding Programme is a 10-year project to rebuild and refurbish 500 school and college buildings across England, so every child has access to the best learning environment, no matter where they live.

Schools across the country will benefit from modern learning environments including new classrooms, science labs and sports halls.

Project planning is advanced at a number of the schools, with construction starting from the autumn and expected to be complete within three to five years.

The programme will create vital jobs and apprenticeships in the construction industry.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "The rebuilding projects are just the start of our major 10-year programme, transforming hundreds of schools and improving the education of tens of thousands of children.

"I am determined to get all children back into education as soon as possible and will make sure we do not let the pandemic stand in the way of giving every young person the opportunity to succeed, progress and fulfil their potential."

Separately, the government has approved two new free schools in the county, in a bid to raise education standards and close the attainment gap. They are Beacon Secondary Academy (part of Cotswold Beacon Academy Trust) and The Wheatridge Primary School (part of The Crypt School), both in Gloucester.

Free schools are state-funded, non-profit schools, which can be set up and run by teachers, parents and community groups in response to demands for better education provision locally.

Hundreds of free schools have been delivered since the programme launched in 2010, with more than 80 per cent rated good or outstanding by Ofsted.

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