Two crumbing secondary schools in Durham have been selected for the Governments School Rebuilding Programme, after years of campaigning by School leaders, staff, parents and the City’s MP Mary Kelly Foy.
The conditions at Framwellgate School and St Leonards RC School have been in decline over recent years, as the buildings have outlived, their expected life span with leaks and flooding classrooms all too often disrupting lessons.
However, today the Department for Education has added both schools to its priority list as part of its School Rebuilding Programme. Cramped and conditions should soon be a thing of the past as both schools will now be assessed to establish plans and costings to build to new state of the art facilities.
Since being elected to Parliament in 2019, Mary has championed the case for both schools to be rebuilt on numerous occasions,
Most recently, in March 2022, Mary led a debate in the House of Commons on the need for both Framwellgate School and St Leonards to be added to the rebuilding programme, realise the ambition of the last Labour Government and deliver modern schools for pupils at both schools.
Reacting to the announcement, Mary said:
“Today’s news is fantastic for the City of Durham. Since being elected I have worked closely with the leadership of both St Leonards and Framwellgate to highlight the serious disruption that their crumbling school buildings have been causing to pupils and staff.
This is exciting news for students, staff, and parents in Durham and I am incredibly pleased that we have now taken a big step towards rebuilding both schools. I want to pay tribute to both schools for tirelessly fighting for better facilities for their pupils over recent years- knowing their staff and students deserved better.”
Andy Byers, Head of Framwellgate School has indicated that the process of planning will start very soon but that he hoped pupils currently in year 9 and below will spend one or more of their final years in school in new facilities.
Reacting Mr Byers said:
“I am delighted that, at last, the students of Fram will get the facilities and learning environment they deserve, and that staff have a modern environment to work in, and the means to support our students to achieve their best.
I want to thank all those who have supported our campaign. We always had a very strong case, but many other schools do too, so this support has been invaluable.”
Head of St Leonards, Chris Hammill, also commented stating
“We are delighted with today’s announcement by the Department for Education that St Leonard’s will be part of the next national school rebuilding programme. Thanks must go to all the staff across the school and Trust who have worked very hard with the initial bid which has got us to this position. Our students and the wider community deserve this tremendous news and all the advantages a state-of-the-art building will bring to the education we seek to provide. We look forward to this next exciting venture in the history of St Leonard’s and will share more information when it becomes available.”