Government deals massive punch to Fenland schools as they wipe millions from sums promised for rebuilding

MILLIONS of pounds have been wiped off the sums promised to renew Fenland schools- despite categorical assurances the money had been ring fenced.

Hardest hit by the cuts – expected to be 40 per cent of the promised sums -will be Cromwell Community College, Chatteris and Sir Harry Smith Community College, Whittlesey.

Meadowgate School, Wisbech, and the Pupil Referral Unit in March will also be hit by the swingeing Government cuts to the Building Schools for the Future programme.

Happily for Neale Wade Community College, March, and Thomas Clarkson Community College, Wisbech, respective re-building programmes of �25 million and �24 million are well under way.

The scale of the cuts for Fenland is expected to cause fury- Cromwell for instance could lose �8 million from the promised �19 million budget to modernise the school.

“I was assured that because we were so far along the lines we would not be affected,” said Cromwell governor Councillor Florence Newell.

“This is not good news at all. Cromwell was built in 1938 for a maximum of 500 and now has 1,173 on the school roll. The corridors are too narrow for safety and there are not enough labs for science- and that’s just part of the problem.”

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County councillor Martin Curtis of Whittlesey and the Cabinet member for children confessed earlier this year to being “really chuffed” Fenland had escaped the axe.

Now he must deliver the news to parents that millions of promised cash will not now be available.

He said “screaming and shouting” would not help and it was a case of trying to get the best of out diminishing cuts.

“Let us not forget there are still millions to be spent on Cromwell and Sir Harry Smith schools but it will reduce the impact on what we build,” he said.

“Heads have known for a while and are disappointed. I’m disappointed.”

Cllr Curtis said the Government was faced with finding huge sums to support schools across the country and there simply wasn’t enough money available.

He added: “There is a lot still going on in Fenland and our future is still rosy.”

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