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Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 10:29 UK
In depth: New schools in Somerset
Writhlington School, Radstock
Writhlington School cost 25m to build in the BSF programme

As Writhlington School in Radstock has fully opened for pupils and staff, how much progress is being made to renew other secondary schools in the county?

It has taken three years to build at a cost of £25m through the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.

The BSF was set up by Labour as part of their education reforms to rebuild or renew all 3,500 secondary schools in England to be fit for the 21st century.

There are also plans for new secondary schools in Bridgwater and Taunton.

The first BSF school was the Bristol Brunel Academy although money was initially spent on renewing rundown schools in inner cities.

There are 15 waves of spending which will eventually mean that every school will be rebuilt or renewed, but this is still dependent on "future public spending decisions".


The biggest plan to rebuild schools in Somerset is in Bridgwater, where a total of six - four secondary and two special provision schools - will be completely rebuilt at a cost of £100m.

This money will be divided between Haygrove, Penrose Special School, Eastbridge Water Community School, Robert Blake Science College, Elmwood Special School and Chiltern Trinity Technical College.

Somerset County Council has confirmed that funding has been secured for all these schools. Contracts are due to be signed off as early as June this year for three of the Bridgwater schools, with the remainder due to be signed off within the next 15 months.


The planned Taunton Academy will replace the existing Ladymead Community School and St Augustine of Canterbury School, and is expected to cost in the region of £15m-£20m.

In January 2010, the funding agreement was signed which secures year on year funding for the school.

The academy school will open in September 2010 using the existing school buildings, but will move into new and updated facilities on the Ladymead Community School site in September 2013.

General Election pledges

However, with the general election around the corner, are these plans safeguarded?

All three parties have made vague promises to safeguard health and education. Both Labour and Liberal Democrats say they are fully committed to the BSF programme.

A spokesman for the Conservatives said: "The process Labour have been using to build schools is incredibly complex, expensive and time-consuming - we believe that by massively simplifying the programme and making it more flexible we can rebuild or refurbish schools faster where they are needed most."

Firm chosen to overhaul schools
24 Feb 10 |  Somerset
Schools rebuild shortlist chosen
05 Jan 09 |  Somerset
County town gets academy school
01 Jun 08 |  Somerset


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