The Government has announced today that Smithdon High School, part of the West Norfolk Academies Trust, is one of 50 schools and sixth form colleges on the Prime Minister’s transformative 10-year school rebuilding programme to level up opportunities for all.
The rebuilds and refurbishments will create modern education environments, providing new facilities across the country from classrooms and science labs, to sports halls and dining rooms. The new school buildings will also be net-zero carbon in operation, helping meet the Government’s net zero target.
The news of this multi-million investment in Smithdon has been met with delight at our Hunstanton secondary school and the Trust as well as by our MP James Wild.
John Hirst, Headteacher at Smithdon, said: "I'm delighted with this significant investment in education in Hunstanton and West Norfolk. Once our school has been rebuilt, it will make a huge difference to our students, where their talents can be identified and nurtured in an outstanding twenty-first century school mirroring the great teaching and support that already takes place at Smithdon.
"As a school and a Trust, we have worked really hard in the background to lobby for this investment to make sure our children continue to learn in the best possible environment long into the future, and I feel today's announcement highlights the confidence at Government level in the leadership of Smithdon and the West Norfolk Academies Trust.
"I am extremely grateful for the teamwork that has taken place in the Trust to get to this stage, and we're looking forward to meeting with the Department for Education next week to further discuss this project and the next steps."
Roger Livesey, Chair of the West Norfolk Academies Trust, added: "As a Trust, we have always strived to ensure that our schools have the facilities and classrooms they need to support the high-quality education our children deserve and we invested significantly in the school building last year.
"We are delighted that the Government is investing millions of pounds to rebuild Smithdon as this investment will now complete the transformation of Smithdon High School into an education establishment of the highest calibre.
"Once complete, our new school building will ensure all children in Hunstanton and surrounding villages in North West Norfolk will have the very best possible school and education."
James Wild, MP for North West Norfolk, commented: "It is great news that Smithdon High School has been selected as part of the School Rebuilding Programme.
"Since I saw the issues with the buildings first hand, I have worked closely with the school to make the case for investment to ministers and that need has now been recognised by the Government.
"This will help the school to deliver better facilities for pupils in Hunstanton in which to learn and realise their potential.”
Transforming education for thousands of pupils, the 50 projects announced today build on the existing programme bringing the total number of schools being upgraded to 100. The School Rebuilding Programme is due to deliver 500 rebuilding projects over the next decade, which will benefit tens of thousands of pupils over their lifetime.
Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson said: “The environment children are taught in makes such an enormous difference to their education.
“This programme will give thousands more young people the chance to learn in world class school facilities, levelling up opportunity and making sure every young person has the chance to succeed, progress and fulfil their potential.
“As we build back better after the pandemic, with buildings that are net-zero in operation, this major ten-year rebuilding programme will help to shape the education of not only children now, but for years to come.”